Uphill task for new Vodafone CEO after “disastrous” year


Nick Jeffery must rebuild operator’s reputation as customer complaints reach record highs Vodafone’s incoming UK CEO Nick Jeffery (pictured) faces a “monumental” task in rebuilding the operator’s reputation when he replaces Jeroen Hoencamp on September 1.

This was the collective view from a number of leading industry resellers and consumer watchdogs having seen the operator lose more than a million customers in the past 18 months [19.4m/18.2m]. It also remains the most complained about UK network – a position it has held  since 2014.

“The overriding hope for the channel is that Nick Jeffery will have a fresh approach and some new ideas that will eventually be able to turn things around,” said one leading Vodafone Platinum Partner, who asked to remain  anonymous due to fear of repercussions.

Fresh ideas needed
He added: “The recent issues Vodafone has encountered have brought a lot of bad publicity to the brand – someone has to be held accountable.”

Another leading industry player added: “When a business that experiences the amount of issues that Vodafone has experienced recently, it normally leads to the head falling on his own sword. This is the logical course of action for most businesses that face big challenges.”

Support for Jeffery who has been at Vodafone since 2004, holding the position of group enterprise director since 2012, has been strong since last week’s announcement, with many accusing the operator of becoming “stagnant” under Hoencamp’s leadership.

Figures show that during his tenure, which started in November 2013 after he replaced Guy Laurence, Vodafone customer numbers fell  from 19.4 million to 18.2 million.

Hoencamp will be replaced by Jeffery on September 1
Hoencamp will be replaced by Jeffery on September 1

Falling share
During the same period rivals EE saw its numbers rise from 28.2 to 31 million, while O2’s rose from 23.4 to 25 million. Three’s has also risen above 10 million.

It has  also been overtaken by O2 for the first time in the lucrative corporate sector, a space Vodafone dominated for more than 30 years up until last year.

Financially, revenues have  dropped, from £3.1 billion in the second half of FY13/14 to £3.08 billion in its latest results.

“It was time for a refresh a Vodafone,” said another leading Vodafone partner. “They had a few quiet few years and have came under a lot of pressure from rivals who seem to have gone from strength to strength.

“What they have to do is put that brand on top of people’s agendas. Every big network has challenges, so bringing in fresh blood with fresh ideas is what Vodafone needs to try and recover.”

Various smaller-sized dealers, not part of the operator’s top Platinum  tier, hoped Jeffery would place more emphasis on the entire channel rather than a selected few.

Many described Hoencamp as largely “anonymous”, while others claimed to have never seen him and that communication with Vodafone has progressively worsened in recent years.

“Jeroen leaving the UK business is a timely move. Prior to his joining, partners had been able to develop relationships with Vodafone management but that has since fallen away.

“It is a wise move for him to move on if the issues that Vodafone has been experiencing can be resolved.”


  1. Vodafone just like BT too big with unaccountable staff. Nick Jeffery has a herculean task to turn their Customer Services around.

    I have been requesting information on a charge of £195 supposedly incurred when in the USA on 24 June 2016. 3 telephone calls and 2 emails and not a word. What a complete shower of a company, who take money by direct debit every month but don’t have staff with the skill to handle queries.

  2. i have been using vodafone for quite a few years now, i am totally disgusted with the way i have just been treated by them, i had to start using a new sim card last month. so bought a new sim card used it in my phone for a month when the bundle ran out. monday 14th nov i topped up by £10 for the second time at teatime. the bundle went on ok, later that evening i received a text to say that after irregular use of my sim card i was going to be suspended from use, as time was getting on i thought i would leave it till the next day (tuesday). so tuesday morning the guy next door to me popped round to see if i was ok cause he couldn’t get me on my phone, so checked the phone and there is no signal, so they have cut me off, so after 3 phone calls, being passed from department that can help me to department that can help me to have been cut off twice, i still dont have a phone. to be honest i think the only course of action for me now is the ombudsman, i am totally disgusted with the way i have been treated. i am getting on in years now, i have a few medical problems which mean i cant get out much, i spend most of my day with my legs up to stop swelling, i have a prolapsed disc in my lower back and i have copd, i don’t have many friends or many people that visit so with no landline and my vodafone suspended for irregular use, i have no emergency contact with the outside world, does anybody know of a good firm of lawyers ?

  3. Vodafone really are the worst company out there, they are over charging my son every month, they apologize, make promises they never keep never phone you back. They have been fine over 4million pounds by OFCOM for dreadful customer services and their CEO promised to fix this broken company, hes a liar, hes done nothing and frankly given this is a billion dollar company a fine of 4 million is no deterrent. If you like good after sales customer care, please please please don’t go to Vodafone, they will make your life a misery, you have been warned

    • Not as much as me, after they stole money from my young son for the 3rd time and again promised to resolve the matter, and promised call backs all of which didn’t materialize, I BELIEVE I HATE THEM AS MUCH AS YOU. THEY ARE A ROTTEN COMPANY WITH NO INTEREST IN LOOK AFTER THEIR EXISTING CUSTOMERS, I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS MAN CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT.

  4. Whenever I’ve had an issue with Vodafone cellular services, I’ve emailed Jeroen Hœncamp directly at Vodafone . I got his email address from a Vodafone fact sheet . Within 24 hours, someone from Vodafone responds, and within 48 hours the problem is solved . Alas, what still happens is their annoying – to say the least – habit of ceasing to issue me with my contracted-for itemised paper bills . That is dealt with by mailing Hœncamp as above . But it’s happened three times this year . And that, shipmates, is a bummer ! Jack Cowan