Vodafone: Getting Warmer?

Latest from Vodafone:

Dear Mr Fuller

Thank you for your email regarding the coverage in your area

Please accept my apologies if we have said your homes are in the Scottish Highlands.

From reading your email I understand that you used to have coverage, until a while ago where you neighbours found that the coverage was very intermittent.

I have spoken to our 3rd line technical team and as your web site correctly states there has been a case open for this area for 5 day’s now, this is a feeder site, after my colleague checked the site today for me he advised that there has been 3 dropped calls today so far which would be acceptable considering how poor the coverage is in the area. This could also be down to the fact that people were trying to make calls at the same time which would cause congestion and in turn cause the calls to drop

If there is building work going on that is in the path of the mast this could indeed effect your signal, along with trees growing and I appreciate that this sounds like an excuse but this is very true, obviously in the summer the trees grow so is can also lead to the signal being blocked.

As a network we can’t guarantee 100% coverage 100 % of the time

I appreciate that this might not be what your friends want to hear Mr Fuller; however we don’t have a timescale for the coverage to improve

We are sending an engineer out to visit the site that has a case raised against in the near future, however at this present time we don’t have a resolution for you friends.

Kind Regards

I guess we’ll be sending that big complaint after all.

There is a petition/survey in the Village Shop regarding the loss of signal. If you have not already done so, add your name to it or contact me and I’ll forward details to Angie Purse.

In the meantime, I have replied to this latest reply pointing out, among other things, that whilst we appreciate that 100% service is not guaranteed – we have experienced outages from time to time – this is goes beyond “not 100%”, this is more off than on. Where does one draw the line?

Mike’s reply:

Thank you for your reply. It seems we may be getting closer to a resolution.

I would however, like to sort out a few things:

1. The open case is probably that of Sue (no idea of her Surname) or Emma ******* (2260627).
2. The number of dropped calls is not very informative unless compared with the number of successful calls – bare in mind that few people are currently able to make calls at all so 3 dropped calls may be 10%, 25%, 75% or even 100% of all calls?
3. Largely speaking, the likelihood of multiple simultaneous calls from the Lowther Hills is slim – at least half the local phones go off with their owners to work, school or college. During holiday periods, the local kids can see each other easily, no one lives more than two miles from anyone else who also lives in Leadhills/Wanlockhead. Most of the kids are willing and keen to go out – it’s that kind of place. But of course, no signal – no calls.
4. The building work could indeed be an issue if the mast serving our area is close to the Clydesdale Wind Farm. Given the heavy lifting involved in that project and the apparent “on/off” signal status, it may well be that a large crane is spending long periods in line with the service mast. It would be useful to know the whereabouts of the mast – we can soon see what’s around it, we’re closer.
5. On this occasion, I suspect tree growth is less likely to be the issue as the change in service status has been abrupt.
6. We, as a community, remain concerned that our First Responder teams are currently without effective communication – they did not choose Vodafone expecting to be let down.
7. We as a community want answers. On his visit, your engineer may well discover what is causing this drop out of signal and may find that there is no practical short-term solution, short of uprooting the mast – especially if the problem is connected with the wind farm. This we can understand. We would like to be advised of any such discovery – like most people, we don’t like being kept in the dark and will not tolerate it indefinitely. Unwelcome answers are far preferable to vague or non-specific answers or indeed, no answers. Keep us informed and we’re far more likely to keep the faith.
8. Needless to say, I will be happy to publish or otherwise convey, any information relating to the cause(s) of our Vodafone outages. Last I heard around lunchtime today, is that the signal is back. We’ll see how it goes.

Best regards,

Mike Fuller.

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