Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage


This article was written on 11 Jan 2015, and is filled under Uncategorized.


Dear Vodafone

We’ve had a long relationship. About fifteen years, in fact, during which I’ve handed over an obscene amount of money and you have provided me with a phone service that, to your eternal credit, has always been very good. The reception is excellent, I can access 3G regularly and so on.

But now our relationship has to end. And here’s why.

I looked the other way when your tax status came up, even though you seem to approach it with the cavalier abandon of someone who views schools and hospitals as being someone else’s problem. And I didn’t mind, mostly, that the people in your shops have gelled hair and the glib, oily manner of estate agents whose only desire is to earn commission.

What finally made me think I couldn’t ignore your breaches of what some people call etiquette and others, sententiously, call morality, is that your name came up, along with the NSA, in the news story about Angela Merkel’s phone being bugged. This is something I can’t overlook and makes me feel deeply uncomfortable.

You might say that it was a different part of the company that were involved or that you didn’t know. With regard to the first, I’m weary of companies claiming that it was someone else in another country who made all of the decisions. If you live under the same brand, then you stand or fall together. And with regard to the second, thoughts of legality prevents me commenting.

The final kicker is that Edward Snowden has suggested your relationship with GCHQ is a little too intimate. According to some news sources, you’re said to have given them access to all your undersea cables. As I’m not a terrorist and don’t behave illegally, I have nothing to fear, but there’s a principle at stake here and, frankly, I don’t trust you.

Your people say that I’d have to buy my way out of my phone contract, which I can’t even begin to afford to do, so I’m locked in. Don’t take that as consent, though. When my contract finishes at the back end of this year, you and me are through and I’ll walk away without a backward glance. It might be easier to stay with you, with your slick high street operation and tariffs tailored to me, but it’s not right.

This letter won’t make any difference to you, at all, but I want you to know that, for some of your consumers out there, this stuff matters. A lot.

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