Clickbait confirmed: Vodacom's Black Friday Sirocco deal

Did Vodacom screw people over completely unnecessarily?

  • Yes: everybody who got a deal number should have gotten the deal, simple

  • No: a company is allowed to accept applications for things they can't deliver


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Foxhound5366

Executive Member
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Oct 23, 2014
Messages
6,308
#1
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you, but if you (like me) had placed an 'application' on Vodacom's website for one of their Black Friday deals - specifically the awesome Nokia 8 Sirocco deal - and they haven't phoned you back yet, chances are you're out of luck.

Effectively, that makes the special clickbait. What makes it worse is that their website had the models that were 'in stock' still with applications possible and those that were 'out of stock' with big 'out of stock' labels, and even 'units remaining' for some models ... making any reasonable user applying for a deal that was shown as in stock that they might actually receive the damn thing (yes?).

Turns out that's wrong. After applying, you got an e-mail like this:

Hello (name),We have received your request for a new deal and your reference number is (ref number). A Call Centre agent will contact you within 24 hours to complete your new deal request. If you don't hear from us within the next 24 hours, please call 08217844, FREE from a Vodacom cellphone.The Vodacom Online team
Needless to say when Saturday rolled by and I didn't get a call-back, I immediately phoned them and ... couldn't get through. Just rang and rang and rang (generally I held for 20 minutes to 30 minutes at a time). Phoned back countless times on Saturday, Sunday and Monday ... the call was only answered twice: first by a guy who put me through to a different extension (which just rang and rang), and the second time by a lady who immediately hung up the phone after she heard that I was following up on a Black Friday application.

FINALLY this morning I reached them: result! Not so fast ... the call centre person at Vodacom Online said I needed to send an e-mail with my deal reference number to their admin help desk on vadmin@likeminds.co.za (curious address amirite)? Sent the e-mail, then got this back an hour later:

Hi (name), Kindly be advised the deal has been depleted and offer valid whilst stocks last. Please refer to the below T&C's.
1. The Offer is open to all natural persons including Vodacom staff, 18 years or older with a valid South African ID, who are upgrading, or purchasing, any of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals that are exclusive to Vodacom Online - www.vodacom.co.za, from 00h01 on 23 November 2018 to 23h59 on 26 November 2018 (“End Date”).
2. Stock is limited, and deals are only valid until stock lasts.
3. The Offer does not apply to migrations.
4. Stock can only be guaranteed at order confirmation and not at time of application.
5. Due to the demand over the promotional period customers could experience Delayed Delivery
6. Customers purchasing the SIM only deal with a Samsung smart LED television must be in possession of a valid television license .
Talk about a soft comedown, right? I guess point 4 is the most relevant one.

What it boils down to is this:
"As Vodacom, we will advertise products on Black Friday and allow people to apply for them; telling them which OTHER products are out of stock to give them some false hope that this product might actually be in stock; send them an automatic e-mail; never phone them back as promised; never answer our phone; and then quote some hidden T&C when it turns out that we don't have any units of this 'special' left."

Thanks Vodacom, thank you very much. Great special. A Black Friday to remember. Maybe I should point out your broken promises next time you try to hold me to a contract of any kind ... oh but it doesn't work that way, does it?
 
Last edited:

theratman

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Jan 21, 2008
Messages
7,723
#4
Vodacom have really made a fool of themselves with this offer. Almost took it myself but reading the other posters complaints convinced me otherwise
 

Foxhound5366

Executive Member
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Oct 23, 2014
Messages
6,308
#6
It does raise the question, however: if Vodacom is unreliable, which mobile service provider IS reliable?

I've been on MTN and swore never again ... and Telkom Mobile's reception is too spotty (out where I live anyway) ... and Vodacom lies ... so that leaves Cell C and all the MNOs that piggyback on its network :/
 

Totempole

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Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,093
#7
It does raise the question, however: if Vodacom is unreliable, which mobile service provider IS reliable?

I've been on MTN and swore never again ... and Telkom Mobile's reception is too spotty (out where I live anyway) ... and Vodacom lies ... so that leaves Cell C and all the MNOs that piggyback on its network :/
Cell C also lies... Same with MTN actually. They're pretty much like car salesmen. Anything to make a sale. Cell C is especially big on bait and switch.
 

Crossing_Swords

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
466
#9
So, all the networks' CEOs came together and said: Hey, there are only a few options for customers, so we can treat them as badly as we want.

Then they all had a good laugh and smoked their Cubans while drinking that whiskey that was R400K at Makro for Black Friday.
 

Foxhound5366

Executive Member
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Oct 23, 2014
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6,308
#10
I'd have accepted this and moved on
Honey Badger, SO would I have, if only on their website they'd gone and called it "Black Friday Lottery: apply for the handset deal you'd like below, and we'll do a random draw and you MIGHT be one of the lucky winners to sign a contract with us, woohoo!" But that is NOT how they pitched it. No, they hid that **** in their T&C and pretended like you had limited time to get your order in for the deal you wanted and then promised to phone you back to finalise it within 24 hours ... which was all just smoke and mirrors.
 

Foxhound5366

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Oct 23, 2014
Messages
6,308
#11
OK, firstly, definitely something dodgy that a Vodacom agent asking you to email vadmin@likeminds.co.za
Nice investigation! I also saw that their website is just a holding page.

My guess is that that entire Black Friday promotion was administered by 'Like Minds' on behalf of Vodacom, so that their call centre didn't have to get involved or do actual work. THIS is probably why the service was so terrible and there is even less than zero accountability.

Anybody else dealt with Like Minds on this promotion?
 

Crossing_Swords

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
466
#12
Honey Badger, SO would I have, if only on their website they'd gone and called it "Black Friday Lottery: apply for the handset deal you'd like below, and we'll do a random draw and you MIGHT be one of the lucky winners to sign a contract with us, woohoo!" But that is NOT how they pitched it. No, they hid that **** in their T&C and pretended like you had limited time to get your order in for the deal you wanted and then promised to phone you back to finalise it within 24 hours ... which was all just smoke and mirrors.
Exactly. And, had they told us that it was basically a lottery, we could have applied for other contracts, like the data contracts offered by MTN. I was certain that they company makes an offer, I accept it, and hoorah for both of us.

I know I could have applied for both, but didn't think it prudent as, for example, when I go to Pick 'n Pay, they don't simply ignore me until their special ends, and then say, oops, you didn't buy it in time, so sorry for you.
 

s3r4ph

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
6
#13
I've also tried to take the deal, signed up at 00:50 AM on Friday morning and had no luck.
From the countless people I've spoken to, the Online Sales department is actually a separate company, outsourced by Vodacom.
That's how I was able to have 3 porting requests on my number active at the same time this weekend.
What the online sales outsourced company sees is different to what Vodacom call center and in store agents see.

The Likeminds is also legit as when I had issues with my order last black friday, a person fro there did sort me out.

But to add to the bait and switch, after I complained on Hello Peter, I get a call apologizing and telling me that they'll see what they can do, and eventually came back with a rediculous offer of a Nokia 7 @ something like R360pm compared to the deal I signed up for of a Nokia 8 @ R165. That right there is 100% a bait and switch.

What annoys me is they'll hide behind their "it's in the terms and conditions" but the problem is when you have 1 sale day, if you think you're going to get a deal because you tried to take the deal from midnight, you're missing out on other deals from other shops, so I'm basically left with nothing.
 

Foxhound5366

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
6,308
#15
Nice investigation! I also saw that their website is just a holding page.

My guess is that that entire Black Friday promotion was administered by 'Like Minds' on behalf of Vodacom, so that their call centre didn't have to get involved or do actual work. THIS is probably why the service was so terrible and there is even less than zero accountability.

Anybody else dealt with Like Minds on this promotion?
Ok, so update to the above ... I decided to go straight to the source and just e-mailed that address and asked them who they are and under what authority they represent Vodacom, and got this reply from them:

Kindly be advised we are a trade partner for Vodacom, vadminlikeminds is the online sales division admin department that is why the online consultant referred you to this email,
Interesting, yes? Vodacom outsources its Online Sales Division's admin to a sketchy partner like 'likeminds'. And so the story continues...
 

Foxhound5366

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
6,308
#16
But to add to the bait and switch, after I complained on Hello Peter, I get a call apologizing and telling me that they'll see what they can do, and eventually came back with a rediculous offer of a Nokia 7 @ something like R360pm compared to the deal I signed up for of a Nokia 8 @ R165. That right there is 100% a bait and switch.
The problem is that it's a really terrible version of 'bait and switch'. It is MEANT to work like an upsale: "Oh I know you came in looking at this Ford Fiesta, but for very little extra we can upgrade you to this amazing Ford Focus." THAT isn't insulting. Being told "Oh no we can't honour our special offer to you, but how would you like to pay twice as much for an inferior phone instead? IS insulting" Somebody deserves to be shot in the face, repeatedly.
 

ekske1

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
1,674
#17
* queue That Movie voice *

After the mybb competition investigations and rebellions...

Fox[hound5366] proudly presents

" Vodacom: bait switch strikes back "
 

alqassam

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
2,044
#20
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you, but if you (like me) had placed an 'application' on Vodacom's website for one of their Black Friday deals - specifically the awesome Nokia 8 Sirocco deal - and they haven't phoned you back yet, chances are you're out of luck.

Effectively, that makes the special clickbait. What makes it worse is that their website had the models that were 'in stock' still with applications possible and those that were 'out of stock' with big 'out of stock' labels, and even 'units remaining' for some models ... making any reasonable user applying for a deal that was shown as in stock that they might actually receive the damn thing (yes?).

Turns out that's wrong. After applying, you got an e-mail like this:



Needless to say when Saturday rolled by and I didn't get a call-back, I immediately phoned them and ... couldn't get through. Just rang and rang and rang (generally I held for 20 minutes to 30 minutes at a time). Phoned back countless times on Saturday, Sunday and Monday ... the call was only answered twice: first by a guy who put me through to a different extension (which just rang and rang), and the second time by a lady who immediately hung up the phone after she heard that I was following up on a Black Friday application.

FINALLY this morning I reached them: result! Not so fast ... the call centre person at Vodacom Online said I needed to send an e-mail with my deal reference number to their admin help desk on vadmin@likeminds.co.za (curious address amirite)? Sent the e-mail, then got this back an hour later:



Talk about a soft comedown, right? I guess point 4 is the most relevant one.

What it boils down to is this:
"As Vodacom, we will advertise products on Black Friday and allow people to apply for them; telling them which OTHER products are out of stock to give them some false hope that this product might actually be in stock; send them an automatic e-mail; never phone them back as promised; never answer our phone; and then quote some hidden T&C when it turns out that we don't have any units of this 'special' left."

Thanks Vodacom, thank you very much. Great special. A Black Friday to remember. Maybe I should point out your broken promises next time you try to hold me to a contract of any kind ... oh but it doesn't work that way, does it?
Also got these email addresses apart from likeminds

@bytes
@vcontractor
 
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