Advice regarding lying Vodafone technician

57 posts in this topic

About 6 months ago a Vodafone technician came to our door and told my wife that Vodafone had made an arrangement with O2 (our current provider) and they were taking over customers in the area. It was an arrangement the companies had made, we didn't have to do anything except let him in to look at our line. He kept repeating this. So my wife let him in, he took a look at the line, explained that it was a deal between the two companies, it wouldn't cost us anything (other than what we were already paying). He then asked her to sign something telling her it was for the new router, etc.

 

Looking back now, obviously, this seems too good to be true, but a lot of wifi a mobile phone deals and prices seem to good to be true for us having come from South Africa. And you don't expect blatant lies.

 

It just so happens that we went to South Africa for three months shortly after that and my wife didn't notice any problems.

 

But she has since realised that we are paying O2 and Vodafone. Obviously, O2 informed us there was no such deal and we need to take it up with Vodafone, fair enough. Vodafone has obviously said we have had the contract for more than 3 months, so there's nothing we can do. And when my wife complained about the technician's actions she was told she should have looked "this arrangement" up online.

 

Surely this can't be legal? And if it is, is there any way to challenge it?  

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The "Vodafone technician" may have been a 3rd party headhunter so your case may be against him, not Vodafone.

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So, a Deutche Bank agent stops by my house and says, "We've been acquired by Citibank.  I need to transfer your funds....".  I took a hit on that one but made it back when a Nigerian prince paid me millions as my share of a transaction.

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I'm also a bit confused. Is this just for phone or also for internet?

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I found something about this here: https://www.pcwelt.de/news/Verbraucherschuetzer-warnen-Vodafone-schiebt-Nutzern-Vertraege-unter-10902730.html

 

Here is a story where (not) customers won againt Vodafone in court: https://www.pcwelt.de/news/Gericht-verurteilt-Vodafone-Kunden-falschen-Vertrag-untergeschoben-10812423.html

However, in their case, they did not let the "Vodafone technician" into their apartment, did not sign anything etc.

 

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It happened to us also once. One guy claims to be from t online and want to know whether we would like fiber optics in our apartment. I spend a lot of time trying to understand what he wanted me to sign, and found out it was just tricking me to sign a contract. I told him that he operates a betrug in this way. He left without saying anything. That was a narrow escape for me. If it was 5 years ago I would have signed it and landed in trouble. 

 

So we made a defensive plan  to never sign anything unless we have talked about it atleast a day before. 

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Nobody in Germany will ever just rock up in person wanting a signature before leaving without having contacted you by snail mail first.

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5 minutes ago, optimista said:

Nobody in Germany will ever just rock up in person wanting a signature before leaving without having contacted you by snail mail first.

 

I've haven't had a Vodafone salesman so far but I have had two sales ppl rock up in person in the past two years wanting to sell me some type of contract for one or the other.  The first wanted to sell some type of contract / insurance which would get me a free helicopter if I ever got injured in the boonies.  The second was selling some type of membership for something that helps infirm people with their shopping or something like that.  Both were ready with a contract to have me sign on the spot.

 

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Some years back we were visited by "air ambulance insurance" door-to-door sales-teenagers. My alarm bells were quickly triggered though. Both guys looked 16, one was extremely pimply, and the other mumbled softly and slurred so bad when speaking I had to ask him like 5 times what he had said. (I later saw he had a tongue ring.) Both were wearing oversized pilot jumpsuits with a logo on it, but the first thing they had said after opening the door was "do you care about street children in Africa" (just mumbled and slurred). Umm, what? 

 

They kept trying to invite themselves to sit down and talk at my "kitchen table" (we didn't have one then, as I told them once I started toying with them, lol), but were unspecific about what they actually wanted. It was all very weird. I finally told them to make their case on my doorstep or get lost, that's when the bit about signing up for an air ambulance inusrance package arose. I reached forward and helped myself to the badges dangling on their necks, but both were generic, no specific info, and the flipsides were blank. I asked them for their IDs, which they then got defensive about and made excuses for not having (ya, sure). Finally, I (a bit uncharacteristically) got aggressive and told them to fuck off (in English) and get out of our building. I hectored them all the way down 4 flights of stairs. At the time, about half the building were elderly singles, and I figured some may fall for the trap, plus we had had a break in about a year prior (two guys posing as some sort of officials tricked a 90-year old to open her door, the holed her up in the bathroom while they robbed her.) I assumed they were casing the individual apartments. 

 

These two kids had clearly answered some sort of shitty job ad, or were roped into it by their conman uncle, because they were terrible cons. I looked up the company later, and no surprise, it has lots of warning about scamming, and that if you ever did try to call on their services for an air ambulance transfer, they'd weasel out any way possible. Also, it is a weird entity, registered as a for profit charity. 

 

As for OP, cancel the contract. You can also try your local Verbraucherzentrale, or https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/beschwerde. Complain on social media, too, althought they may just as well delete your complaints and go back to botox smiles and sunshine clip art. You got scammed, but you signed a binding contract. Vodafone surely knows it happens, but it's money into their accounts, so it's your problem. And yea, German customer service here is often like this, a "fuck you, whatchya gonna do about it, loser" kick sand in your face mentality. 

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10 minutes ago, LeonG said:

 

I've haven't had a Vodafone salesman so far but I have had two sales ppl rock up in person in the past two years wanting to sell me some type of contract for one or the other.  The first wanted to sell some type of contract / insurance which would get me a free helicopter if I ever got injured in the boonies.

 

 

Holy crap, I was just telling that story. Same thing! I used to live in BS and that is where it happened. 

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41 minutes ago, optimista said:

Nobody in Germany will ever just rock up in person wanting a signature before leaving without having contacted you by snail mail first.

 

except Vodafone who do it a lot  Plus some charities.  I always say not at the door.  Also, not on the street, many companies especially charities, plus ADAC do pushy stuff on the street.

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16 minutes ago, alderhill said:

 

Holy crap, I was just telling that story. Same thing! I used to live in BS and that is where it happened. 

 

My salesman was slightly more professional, I would guess late 20's, early 30's.  This is the company he was peddling: https://www.fasi-amb.de/

The second was a woman, I would guess around 60, dressed in white like a health care employee.  She was peddling this one: https://www.asb.de/

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Chuggers, charity muggers, on the street, in shopping centers, are still a thing in Germany, started about 1990 in the DDR, Wessis selling magazine subscriptions to Ossis who not know what they were signing. Later for Tierschutz and more..

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44 minutes ago, Fietsrad said:

Chuggers, charity muggers, on the street, in shopping centers, are still a thing in Germany, started about 1990 in the DDR, Wessis selling magazine subscriptions to Ossis who not know what they were signing. Later for Tierschutz and more..

And it is lucrative, works for charities.  I know students who have worked doing this (for genuine charities) and I am amazed how many people respond, and fill out forms on the spot.

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They do not understand that they are becoming a "fördender Mitglied" and not just making a single donation. Also had to invite someone sitting at my kitchen table to leave once. She was very unpleasant before she left. Always read and understand the small print. Difficult when the other person makes a point of filling out the form and you only get to see it when they push it under your nose for a quick signature.

 

I was thinking more about infrastructure and essential services with my last comment - water, gas, electricity, phone lines, radio, etc. Magazine subscriptions and insurance are a bit peripheral.

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

They do not understand that they are becoming a "fördender Mitglied" and not just making a single donation. Also had to invite someone sitting at my kitchen table to leave once. She was very unpleasant before she left. Always read and understand the small print. Difficult when the other person makes a point of filling out the form and you only get to see it when they push it under your nose for a quick signature.

 

I was thinking more about infrastructure and essential services with my last comment - water, gas, electricity, phone lines, radio, etc. Magazine subscriptions and insurance are a bit peripheral.

 

Both of my sales ppl were clear that it was a monthly thing.  The key I think would be to be firm and not invite them in or if you do, ask them to leave the contract with you so you can think about it.  Say that your spouse will lose it if you sign if it helps.  Surely they don't like that because if they do give you time to think, you will probably not sign and they don't get commission.  If you do get swayed into signing, because they came to your door and took you by surprise, you can cancel any contract within 14 days.

 

This happens too with phone / internet as you can see in my link that there have been cases of Vodafone salesmen coming to the door and suddenly you have a new contract and we were just discussing recently on another thread that there is a phone scam where they call you to ask about your meter numbers in order to move you to a different energy provider.

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We had the Vodaphone dude, and ended up with phone/internet, gas and leccy all from that one visit.

 

It has saved us about 7p probably, but hasn't been an actual problem, so in our case not a scam, but in Germany there are definitely door-to-door people selling the essential services.

 

Funnily enough, Telekom sent a dude around about 3 weeks ago. Same deal but backwards - how crap is your internet? We will fit fibrewotsit and it will be brilliant. Having switched to Vodaphone for no real benefit we can't be arsed to switch back and probably end up paying through the nose to have the fibery thing dug to our house. Luckily kid#4 listened most politely to the spiel at the door, explained that unfortunately being a kid he doesn't pay or decide on these things and regretfully wasn't in a position to help, and the dude retreated. 

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My mum fell for an awful Vodafone seniors deal from a chap that came to the door. She ended up paying a lot  more than before. My husband was also prone to making new agreements when Vodafone call him.  Always bad and need to be undone within the 14 days or so from agreement.  Part of one of my jobs in the UK was to analyse phone and other utility tariffs and terms.  Only very few were genuine with clear pricing and terms. Claims of sustainability and environmental friendliness are usually anything other than that.  
 

Now, if we are offered any supposed better deals, I contact our current supplier and always get a better deal than that we were offered elsewhere.  

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Many people who sign up when recruited by social marketers (chuggers) are glad to pay their monthly obulus, sometimes the chuggers explain that they earn commission, plenty of people find that in Ordnung too. Without social marketing the organisations would have much less money.

 

Many others regret signing up and cancel their membership ASAP.

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I never understand why anyone would open their door to someone they're not expecting.

 

Just let the door bell ring twice and they're gone.

 

Obviously if it rings more than twice it's probably the Police.

 

So it's a good idea to answer the door before they break it down.

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