Oh lovely - an e-mail from Vodafone offering me lots of discount if I extend my current mobile contract with them. "Just click here to see the goodies".
Right on time - my current 'phone had just thrown a wobbly. So I click on the link, log in, and ... nothing. "You cannot extend your contract. Call this number". Like the good automaton that I am, I call the number. "Oh yes, you can extend your contract, no problem. If you'd like to see the 'phones, pop down to your local Vodafone shop"
So I pop down and choose a 'phone just a little shinier and more sparkly than the previous one. And the nice gentleman says "But your current contract only runs out in November. You're not allowed to renew yet".
So I explain about the e-mail, he calls, somebody tweaks the system, and I renew.
And no criticism of the flunkies at Vodafone - "service" is not something the Dutch understand well - they don't even have a word for it (they use the English "service"), and they tend to equate "service" with "servitude", which doesn't sit well in this egalitarian society) But these flunkies were fine and resolved the issue without any fuss. What I do wonder about, though, is why Vodafone's data systems aren't talking to each other. The e-mail system and the contact centre system think one thing, the website and the shop system think something else entirely.
A company in Almere
So I get my nice, new, shiny and sparkly 'phone home, switch it on and (you'll like this Daragh) find that it may be shiny, but it's not new. 40 contact names, e-mails (about taxi expenses), voice messages, notes ... even pictures of the baby.
Looks like the 'phone had been tested and returned,but returned without any attempt being made to delete the data on it. I could even contact the company's e-mail server and check out the rest of their mails. I wasn't tempted (I may have been put off by the baby pictures, truth be told), but a message about data not leaving the company hasn't seeped through to all staff yet.
So I take it back and get a new 'phone. Only this one is missing it's little pen ...
OK, this cost me not a lot (a few telephone calls and some cycling around Amsterdam, which is good for my condition). It costs Vodafone more, I reckon. And as for that company in Almere ...