As well as having a contract phone with Orange, I have a pay as you go phone which I use for my business. I don't top the phone up very often as I use it mainly to receive calls from my customers.
Although a lot of people say Vodafone is expensive, I have always found them okay. I top up anywhere between £5-£10 per month and have never gone over this amount.
With Vodafone they offer various different deals for their customers, and you can change them to suit your own personal needs. I used to get the free weekends (texts and calls between Friday evening and Sunday evening). Although they do sometimes alter what times the free calls/texts are available from, I think this is a very good deal. In order to get the free text messages at weekends you need to spend over £2.50 per month, or to get the free calls as well you need to spend over £5.00 each month. You are able to spend this using the internet, calls or texts.
At the moment I get free text messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When I first changed over to this tariff I got no freebies for the first month, but after that I was eligible for the free texts. I have to spend a minimum of £5 a month for this.
Vodafone offer lots of different deals, which change on a regular basis. Sometimes when you top-up by phone they say you can get a certain amount of texts and calls if you select a particular option whilst on the phone. They offer packages for everyone, and I don't find them any more expensive than my contract phone is.
...Working for Vodafone...
I've worked for Vodafone since 2005. I work in a retail store in a precinct as a Sales Advisor though I will be Senior Sales Advisor in a few weeks (if NVQs people get a move on). I originally started on 8 hours but am now on 30 hours plus overtime. Normally I do on average 38 hours per week.
...Getting the job...
A lot of things have changed over the years including on how they recruit people. I saw the job advertised on the Customer Service board in the precinct. I handed in my CV to the manager, he phoned me to arrange an interview, went to the store to have the interview and then was phoned that I'd got the job.
Now it's a little bit more complicated. The jobs are now advertised through Adecco, a poster in the store and our career's website, http://careers.vodafone.co.uk/.
When you visit the website, you can either search for a particular job in certain locations or you can submit your CV without choosing a job. Basically keeping your CV on file until there's a job opening in the location or the job description that you want.
If you've applied, you will have two telephone interviews that you have to pass before getting an interview in the store. They ask you about your experience and give you different scenarios and ask you to call on your experience and knowledge to answer their questions.
If you pass the telephone interviews, you will get invited to the store to have an interview with the manager (or manager from a different store if the manager is away or cannot attend for whatever reason) and either an assistant manager or a senior person. They will ask the usual questions that companies ask in interviews. Then the manager will ring you up to tell you if you have the position or not.
With Vodafone, there is the induction and in-store training. The induction can be before or after you have had your in-store training. It depends on when they are. The induction has changed since I went on it so the information might be a little out of date.
The induction was one day that told you all about Vodafone as a company, the past, the present and the future. What they expect from you as an advisor. You also do those role play games. Learn to work as a group. I remember that the food where I had my induction (the Hilton in Leeds) was lovely!
Now, the induction is three days long and incorporates the training we had do with last year. (Went down to Luton and it snowed.) Training was about how to handle customers, to go the extra mile if you can etc. They also tell you about Vodafone, what's expected of you as a trainee advisor (in my day, there was no such thing as a trainee advisor) etc.
In-store training has also changed since I joined the company. Before you did all your training of the different systems and basically anything to do with the job at your own store. Now, you go away for 5 days to a training store. You get your expenses paid so if you have to stay over or have to get the bus or train everyday, you will pay for it but they will reimburse you at the end.
You might think that I've covered this with the induction section but no, there's more training after you've started. There are web-based courses and internal training. After your week at the training store (or my case no training store), you get to go to your store and learn. Believe me there's lots more to working in the mobile industry than you think. There's the different systems that you have to learn to help customers, there's lots of technical info like settings for WAP and MMS that you have to learn (or just pass it to me as I'm quite good at these). Also when there's something wrong with for example, with a customer's phone you have to know to eliminate things to get down to the bottom of the problem. Sometimes, it's is simple but other times, you have to send them away to work on the problem.
Basically, you learn all this from watching your team members work but I started in October just before the Christmas period. You either pick it up fast like I did or you won't make it. It's either sink or swim.
The web based module and courses are to learn new products, price plans, systems or if they change something to the way they were before.
There are also internal courses that are run on a regular basis that are revelant to your job title. Managers and assistant managers go on more courses than the other staff. I've been on two of them since I started. One was for Business and all about business price plans (though they have just changed it again) and another about customer experience and how to handle 'challenges'.
There's also roadshows. One in the summer and one just before Christmas trade. Sometimes we all go, sometimes it's just for managers and assistant managers. These roadshows gives us information on how the company is doing and gives more info on things to come.
...Qualifications and education...
Also something new in the company since I joined. NVQs! Before you filled in a booklet, you went to another store for a day to demonstrate everything you knew and you got your Senior Sales (or not).
Unluckily for me, I was in the middle of filling in that booklet, when the NVQs came in. Nobody knew what they were meant to be doing. They told me that I would have to start on Customer experience Level 1, which is for a trainee starts. I told my manager that this was unfair and after a few weeks (months) of waiting, I was told that I could go onto Customer experience Level 3 but I wouldn't get the NVQ as I didn't start at the bottom. I'm not really bothered about not getting the NVQ as I have a degree.
You have to complete Level 1 to become a trainee advisor, Level 2 is to become Sales Advisor and Level 3 is to become Senior Sales Advisor and Business Sales Advisor.
There's also the management NVQs, Level 2 is to become Assistant Manager when you have been Senior Sales Advisor for more than 6 months. Level 3 is to become Manager.
With the NVQs, you have to fill in a lot of paperwork and wait a long time for your NVQ assessor to get back to you.
You wear a red company shirt and black trousers. We used to be able to wear any top that we liked with black trousers when I first started. I do miss that but I do understand why they changed the policy.
Every month, you have 1-2-1s and every 6 months you have your PD a review of your performance during those 6 months. There can be action plans if you have fallen down on something badly. These 1-2-1s and PDs will determine how much of a pay rise you will get.
...Benefits of working at Vodafone...
You guessed it phones! You have the right to 2 normal staff contract with no line rental and calls, texts and data are half the price of normal. Third contract that you can have is called a Feast, where you get all unlimited calls and texts and upto 500mb of data, free insurance with no excess for £25 a month.
The normal staff contract are annoying sometimes as you either end up getting a phone that's been out ages or paying for a phone that new as you are classed as have the lowest contract thus paying for phones. Unlike been able to discount these phones for new customers, we can't discount it for ourselves.
The feast contract is brilliant value for money, the only thing is that you either have to give your phone back at the end of the contract or buy it for £50 depends on how much you like the phone I guess.
We also get 40% discount on accessories and used to get 20% on PAYT handsets but since February, we don't anymore. They said they might bring it back in.
Pension is another benefit. They will match up to 4% of what you put in so if I put in £60, they will also put in £60. Life insurance is also another benefit. If I were to die, my beneficiaries will get 5 times my basic salary. I pay 28p per month for that but it is free if you only want 3 times your basic salary.
Another thing is shares. For the last few years, every employee gets shares. You can't touch them for two years and if you leave the company before you can cash them out, you lose them.
There are also incentive to win things like holidays, vouchers, money, etc through mobile phone company like Samsung, Sony Ericsson. Also the reps come around and give you pens, key rings etc. It might be little but it all adds up.
...Managers and Team members...
I'm very lucky to have a great manager and brilliant team members. We all get along great and I'm lucky to work there. Yes, there are days where I get bored or extremely annoyed by the customer's attitudes. Thankfully, this is not every day. Lol you might be surprised to know that I nearly turned down the job as I didn't think I would like it. I thought the atmosphere would be like Phones4U (some of my friends work there) and that I would be fighting for sales all the time. Luckily, we work on store based commission. We work as a team to achieve targets and I think that's a much better way.
...People outside my store...
We have a excellent regional manager who listen to your queries and challenges. I have met quite a few different people through Roadshows, meetings and courses. Most of them are a great bunch of people and I would be happy to work in any other store across my region.
Depended how long you have been with the company, the salary can vary massively. People who start with in the retail stores start off on minimum wage for 21+ even if you're not over 21. After six months, you get a pay increase. Well, that's how it used to be. They are thinking of changing the way they do it so when you join start on more than minimum wage and you get nothing for when you pass your probation, which I think is a bit silly.
You also generally get a pay raise every year in June to start for July. This is between 1.5% - 4.5 % depended on your 1-2-1s and the profits of the company.
Of course, in addition to your basic salary, there's commission. Like I mentioned earlier, commission is shared by the team and is based on how many hours you have worked in that month. If you have worked overtime, you get more commission.
I can't speak for the whole of Vodafone as there are many different parts and departments but it's well worth it to work in the retail stores especially if you have a manager and team members like mine.
Though getting into Vodafone Retail now is quite hard, the job is rewarding most of time, the benefits and rewards are great and the pay is good. Higher than any retailer I've ever worked for.
I've worked for Vodafone now for just over 7 years, 6 in the UK operating company and the last year or so for Vodafone Group.
I've never really enjoyed working here, the pay is good as are the benefits, I'm a senior manager so get share options and a reasonable bonus. Once you've been here longer than 3 years you're pretty much share bound by options.
Change is constant, some for good but lot's of it just for change sake.
Employee relations have improved over the past few years and The Times Top 100 Employer award of 2 years ago was probably justified.
There are too many 'civil service' types still in the organisation, old school management styles and poor behaviours.
From the outside Vodafone looks sleek and exciting, boy is it different on the inside, confusion & chaos reigns supreme, the red tape ties everyone up and time and time again competitors beat Vodafone to market with products and services.
I'm seeking a new role, I'm currently working on a global business transformation project, exciting stuff eh? Not really there's no plan and Accenture are the integrator, quite frankly they aren't up to the job but hey they were the lowest bidder no doubt.
Thinking about working for Vodafone? My advice don't.
I used the services of Vodafone while being in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) with corporate connection and found it really great; as the voice was very clear and the connectivity was quit fast, the staff working with
Vodafone was quit happy and satisfied.
I must suggest that their is a immense opportunity to start this net work at Pakistan as presently we have only two multinational networks such as Telenor and Mobilink. But demand of connections is drastically increasing; the people like to stay connected with the business and family.
Vodafone offer a staff deal with free LR and reduced call prices
Good Pension scheme although Vodafone have recently terminated their final salary pension scheme.
Vodafone are obsessed with labelling staff. Every employee is given a grade, but you can do the same role as a colleague and be a completely different rating
Vodafone brag about the fact they have a review scheme in place that rewards employees but the reality is it completely depends on your relationship with your manager. In many cases the friendlier you are with your line manager the better review rating you are given but beware this can be changed if too many people in your area have to same grade, so you are not judged by your own skills but the performance of others.
Dealing with other departments is almost like dealing with a competitor. It is very difficult to work with other areas, as people are very precious about their function and reluctant to work together. No department knows what the other departments are doing are many areas are doing the same job making it almost impossible follow correct processes and policies. internal communications is extremely poor resulting in complete confusion when seeking help.
Vodafones HR Is nearly none existent. If you have a personal issue, you are forced to either email a group email address or call a group number and deal with whoever answers the phone. You can wait weeks for a response. This can be very frustrating when all you want as an employee is a HR point of contact. Many sites do not have a HR representative at all.
Most of the company is outsourced to external companies such as payroll making it very difficult to resolve pay queries and it can take up to 6 months for errors to be corrected.
The company is all about image and once employed it becomes apparent this is for show only.
Well my Experience with vodafone employment wasn't good. I don't know actually their hiring policy but I had a final interview there for two months ago now but not in UK in another branch. And they didn't even send me a reject mail which really annoys me!!!. is this thier way when they reject ppl acccording to thier policy or what?.
any way if this is thier policy then thanks god am not gonna work there.
This review is about employment at Vodafone UK based on my own experiences within the IT department and I hope you find this useful.
~~ My Vodafone Background ~~
I joined Vodafone in 1998 and started work in the IT Department based in Newbury in Berkshire.
I have changed roles several times, internally, but have remained within IT until next month (April 2006) when I will be leaving the company completely.
~~ Why Work For Vodafone ~~
The allure of Vodafone is primarily because they are perceived to be the market leader in telecommunications and tend to pay generous salaries.
There are also a number of perks including free line rental for 2 personal handsets, subsidised calls and texts, discount for friends and family, free broadband connection at home if your job requires you to work unsociable hours at any time.
On top of that there is a company pension scheme, life insurance and intermittent share options.
Work-related benefits include access to training courses to improve your career prospects, a laptop and company mobile phone.
You also get to work with the latest technology.
You get 28 days paid holiday plus bank holidays.
Longer term advantages are that due to the sheer size of Vodafone, there are numerous career opportunities and it is quite easy to branch into career paths which you may not have previously considered.
Vodafone's offices vary in size and comfort - my office is fairly modern with open office space and coffee areas scattered around.
Others are not so well decorated but have similar facilities.
There is a staff canteen which costs more than Sainsbury's so I tend to avoid it !
There are no desk-based telephones - everybody is issued with a staff mobile and that is how everybody communicates.
~~ Getting Into Vodafone ~~
For any prospective employee, getting an interview is the biggest hurdle and unfortunately, Vodafone is no exception.
If you send in a speculative letter then don't be surprised if you are totally ignored.
Even applying through Vodafone's external website is no guarantee of a reply let alone an interview.
The 2 best ways of getting a job at Vodafone are by either applying through one of the employment agencies that Vodafone uses or by a personal referral (insider infrmation !).
I applied through an agency as a temp and was lucky enough to be offered a permanent position after 6 months.
~~ Your First Day ~~
My first day was a real eye-opener I can tell you.
Beneath the smooth exterior lies a centre of chaos and confusion.
For example, most of Vodafone's buildings can only be accessed using a secure id card and you may expect Vodafone to supply this to you on your first day - but no.
It took over a week for mine to arrive during which time I had to rely on the good-natured receptionist to let me in.
You will be assigned to a "buddy" who will mentor you and teach you your role but again this is flawed.
Often, the person teaching you is too busy to spend much time at your side and you end up having to learn as you go.
I know of at least 2 people who were fired within their first 12 months and it was mainly due to them receiving poor training from their colleagues.
There is no formal training period in many departments although this varies depending on which team you are working for. Some are better than others but all are mostly unregulated internally and have devised their own training regimes.
~~ Management ~~
If you are not a "self-starter" then your career at Vodafone will be short-lived - guaranteed.
The back-stabbing brigade will drive you out if you underperform or happen to annoy the wrong person.
If, however, you are a strong person with a lot of energy and drive then you can make a good career at Vodafone, so decide which category you fit into before applying for a job here.
The management at Vodafone deserve a lot of criticism I'm afraid.
There are company policies made by Human Resources which line managers interpret as they see fit.
If you work for a decent line manager then you will be okay but there are a lot of bad managers scattered around the company, all of whom seem to be unaccountable (if they screw up they are just moved elsewhere whereas you or I would be fired).
Examples of mis-management include things like :-
- some employees being allowed to work flexible hours whereas others in the same department are not.
- warnings that project deadlines are unattainable are ignored.
- more established members of staff arriving late consistently are not disciplined but if a new starter does the same they are reprimanded.
- failure by some managers to hold regular staff reviews therefore affecting their career as promotion and payrises depend on the review scores
~~ PDR - personal development review ~~
As an employee you receive an interim PDR in November and a final PDR in April each year.
This documents your performance and achievements compared against what the comapny expects of you.
You are then graded and this is used to determine your payrise and whether you ought to be "managed out" of the company.
~~ My Thoughts On Working At Vodafone ~~
There is a strong team spirit at Vodafone and most people work alongside others.
If you are a likeable person then other teams tend to help you out quite readily.
The team I work for are a good bunch and work really hard to deliver results and somebody is always there to help out if you are struggling with a problem of any sort.
However, there are other teams of people who are not so helpful - on average, I would say that in any given team of 6 people, only 4 are actually capable of doing the job they are employed to do.
This is partly historical and due to the way in which the company has expanded over the past 7 years - people have been placed in roles which they are not suited to rather than making them redundant.
My line managers have mostly been very good (apart from 1 who I really disliked).
I have had compassionate leave on a few occasions and this has been given freely by my manager - but beware as other managers are not so flexible as mine have been.
The staff phone scheme is okay although if you are a heavy user then you may be better off on one of Vodafone's public tariffs - I am not kidding !
Because although you get free line rental and subsidised calls you DO pay for every call whereas on a "bundled" tariff you have a number of minutes included in your line rental.
At the top end of the scale these bundled minutes are very generous and work out much cheaper than the staff scheme.
Vodafone have outsourced their payroll department and it is almost impossible to contact anybody if you have a pay query.
The telephone line is never answered and your emails are not replied to, although in my experience, your email will be actioned but they just won't tell you that they have done so !
An interesting point of note is that the company relies heavily on email - many people email others who sit across the other side of the office rather than walk across and talk to them !
~~ Why I Am Leaving Vodafone ~~
One of my biggest bug-bears with the company has been their internal recruitment policy.
It is fairly easy to move internally but - and this is a big but - in many cases you are awarded a tiny payrise or no payrise at all despite moving to a "better" position.
I now find myself in a team of 9 people, many of whom are much less experienced and qualified than myself, and yet I am one of the lowest paid members by a large margin.
And so one of the reasons for my leaving is to go to a much better paid job with a company not far from where I work now and doing the same role.
Vodafone recently changed their promotion policy which means that you cannot be promoted whilst doing the same role.
Previously, most roles were classed as either "intermediate" or "senior" - which meant that you could enter as an intermediate analyst and gain promotion to senior after a few years but carry on doing the same job (but with more responsibilities).
Now, you can only gain promotion by moving to a diferent role which effectively means a different team and job.
For most people that is impractical and not conducive to their career path.
So this is another reason for my departure.
Vodafone is also about to announce the outsourcing of it's entire IT department (as reported by the Sunday Times some 4 weeks ago).
Based on what I have seen over the past 7 years, I just know that Vodafone will choose the wrong partner - guaranteed !
The uncertainty has already prompted a trickle of resignations.
~~ Summary ~~
Vodafone can offer a very rewarding career and is a really fun place to work most of the time so long as you find yourself in the right team.
You must be hardworking and able to get on with people regardless of what your CV says (we all have that on there don't we ?) - if not then you will soon be found out.
You simply have to form relationships to get on at Vodafone.
I imagine that as soon as the outsourcing rumours have been quashed/announced then Vodafone will return to it's old self again and if you can ignore the blatant mismanagement then you will enjoy working here.
I have to recommend Vodafone as a place to work as otherwise I wouldn't have stayed here so long would I ?
And also, I know that other large corporations act no differently to Vodafone.
It's just disappointing when I look back 7 years to how Vodafone used to operate as one large family - but now that all it's cousins and distant relatives have turned up on the doorstep, the house is a little bit crowded.
Okay, so I ring Vodafone, tell 'em how wonderful I am at my chosen degree subject - media and communication - and they say, "Hmmmmmm, I'm sorry, You're not qualified for marketing and communication... how about a job in engineering?". I'm sorry, I just don't get it Mr Vodafone. Has anyone else had this problem? Why do they think i am anymore qualified to be an engineer??? Wierd, v. wierd. I'd have loved to have worked in the marketing department for britain's biggest mobile network but somehow, I can't see myself in their engineering department... can you?