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Combe Martin residents abandon Vodafone after month without signal

By NDJDuncan  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

NO SIGNAL: Combe Martin mother and son Joanne Lewis and Louie Hill. @Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20140130C-004_C.

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VODAFONE mobile phone customers in Combe Martin are frustrated after being without a signal in the town for nearly a month.

A number of users said they planned to change networks. These include a Parkinson’s sufferer who relies on his mobile for when he needs assistance.

A problem with a mast was responsible for the lack of service which started affecting Combe Martin at the beginning of January, according to Vodafone.

The mast was fixed on January 25 but customers have said signal is now intermittent.

A Facebook page dedicated to the network’s “bad signal and customer service” has 212 members.

Sports therapist Joanne Lewis called the situation “disgusting”.

She said endless correspondence with Vodafone and difficulty liaising with clients had made for a stressful month.

“It’s been very, very, very frustrating,” she said.

“I’ve completely lost faith in Vodafone.”

Joanne decided to move to a different network but said she had been “passed from pillar to post” and now has two contracts – one with Vodafone and a new one with Orange.

She said bad customer service and unclear policies made cancelling a contract difficult, adding: “These companies should be exposed.”

Antony Garner, who suffers from Parkinson’s, said he was not interested in compensation but simply wanted to be able to use his phone.

Given the length of time the signal has been down, Antony also investigated changing to a different network.

“They have said, as I recently renewed my contract, I would have to pay more than £300 to cancel it,” he said.

“Considering they’re no longer providing any service in my area I think they have broken the contract and should let me leave.”

Anthony said he relied on having a functioning mobile phone so he could call for help when he needed it.

Vodafone spokesman Jane Frapwell said the company was sorry.

She said: “The local mast developed a fault in early January which required engineers to climb the mast to replace hardware.

“Unfortunately, while this worked initially the mast failed again due to a transmission problem.

“We replaced the transmission link on January 25 and the site has been up and running since.”

Have you had similar problems? Let us know by commenting in the box below.

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  • Wazzamatter  |  February 11 2014, 7:13PM

    If you are on a contract and the company are not providing the service you are paying for, under UK law, the company is in breach of contract and you can quit the contract without paying anything at all. Cancel your direct debit and tell Vodafone you are cancelling the contract due to them breaching it and to expect no further payment from you. They won't like it, but you are in the right.

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  • ILFRACOMBE  |  February 08 2014, 7:51AM

    Why not use pay as you go Several years ago I was with Voadaphone & it went down in Ilfracombe I tried to get it sorted but they did not want to know so I tried a new provider O2 & have had no problems with them

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  • disneypops  |  February 07 2014, 1:39PM

    Our service went down on or around the 2-1-14 I contacted Voadafone to be told it would be up and running within 3 working days - I was given a £15 good will gesture and told compensation would be paid upon the issue being resolved., Several phone calls were made and eventually I penned a strongly worded letter to customer care at Voadfone , to which I have had no reply, as email contact isn't something Vodafone allow !? I am a business user with Vodafone and although I wouldn't be expected to be treated any different as I pay my bill alongside personal customers I want it whole heartedly noted that I was treated with the same Rude - un-helpful - un-professional manner that everyone else was! I was told during one telephone conversation that I would be compensated - when I asked what that would amount to I was told it would be my line rental I had paid for the month of January .... Im no rocket scientist but Compensation means ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT YOU PAID - technically all Vodafone are giving us back is the rental we paid out for a service they didn't provide!? That's not compensation in my eyes. My letter hasn't been responded too - my rental hasn't been refunded and my service is still VERY intermittent - Poor show Vodafone - My 30 notice to end my contract has been written and posted , to which I have had NO REPLY or acknowledgement !?

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  • annmarie1982  |  February 07 2014, 12:01PM

    we have had problems with vodafone since 2012 when we took out contract as they told us that we had exellent signal where we lived....only to find we had no signal whatsoever inside the house or ouside....we had to buy a sure signal box which cost £50 and they said this would work......it didnt!! then we rang them up only to find that we could have cancelled 2 months after we had the contract...we were not told this so now we are stil paying off a £38 contract each up till june 2014 when it expires!! bloody useless in the shop too the superviser got irrate with my husband saying there was no proof of any problems and that we didnt ring up and tell them (no records apparently...funny that) and that we couldnt lower the tarriff at all and had to still pay the £38 a month until we could cancel!!! AVOID VODAFONE LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!!!! worst mistake we ever made...plus we had to take out a contract with a different provider so that we could use a mobile!!! USELESS!!

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