Vodafone UK Are A Bunch Of Dark Pattern UX C*nts

Vodafone you can suck my dick you fucking wankers.

I don’t mince my words when I’m pissed off.

On Vodafone’s website you can manage your mobile package including what data allowance you use: fasd

A series of simple binary switches let you control whether a data allowance is on or off for any given month. In the example above I have opted for an extra 17GB of mobile data because I love watching streaming videos of Japane…anyway, when you toggle the buttons there is no confirmation message or anything like that. This is important. Remember that last bit.

I like to fiddle with things and I like to play with buttons because that’s what I do as a UXer. And one day I was playing around on my mobile and was all like “I wonder what happens if I switch one of these buttons off?”.

And Lo! I get a text message saying something like “you have opted out of your 15GB extra data bundle. You can opt in at any time by visiting the Vodafone website blah dee blah dee fucking blah”. So I was all like yeah OK, so I go back on to the website and switched the thing back on and then I get a text message back like “congratulations, you have an extra 15GB data valid from 15 August”. Which fucking sucked because I had originally opted in on July 26 so now I was all like “I’m going to get charged for all that data between 26 July and August 15 which is like £2 per 100MB or something. Fucksticks!”

After a quick tweet to Vodaphone’s Twitter I was referred back to some online chat dude who assured me that the 2 extra 15GB packages I had opted in for (I know, I apparently clicked on and off lots) would be removed from my bill. Yay!

Imagine my surprise at today’s bill:


That’s right. Every time you toggle one of these wee switches on and off you get charged.


No warning, no message saying “you will cancel your upgrade from July 26 to August 15 and any data charges outside your allowance will be charged to your account” or “this isn’t a simple binary switch that says whether an extra 2GB allowance is active for a given billable month” or “each time you switch this button on again you will be charged” or “we are a bunch of thieving dark pattern bastards”.

There’s no way Vodafone are that inept. There’s no way they would program something so potentially destructive and costly for the customer. No, this is probably a deliberate ploy to extract cash from stupid, meddling usability pro’s like me. Fuck you Vodafone. Fuck you.


And fuck your customer services too.

Anyway, rant over. But what do you think? Are you stupid, like me? Have you been ripped off by these total wankers? Hook me up on Twitter



An online friend writes

Vodafone are just awful. I have recently changed from O2 to vodafone. As vodafone has the best signal around where I live.
They screwed up the number porting and for over a week I had no mobile. Their customer service people are generally useless, the gave no explanation to what the problem was and just wait 72hrs, which is their default timescale. Then my online account wasn’t set up properly, that was another 3 days and I couldn’t setup my voicemail PIN which I had to use the text chat thing and they reset it.

Once I managed to get to my online account, I noticed that I was being billed at £32 a mouth instead of £19 of the deal they advertised. I went into one of their store where the guy said he thinks I’ll be charged the £19 but isn’t sure and just wait to see what bill I get.

If you check out Trustpilot they are score 0.5 out of 5

Share your experiences with Vodafone in the comments!


Update 2

Here is copy of the kind of texts Vodafone send:asfdgasdfsd

Sounds like an opt in or out service. Misleading huh?

Update 3

Vodafone have refunded £80! Woohoo! Only £20 more Vodafone. CAN YOU DO IT?!!!!!

Update 4

Yes they can! They refunded all £100 in disputed fees! My bill is now ‘only’ £68.95. So at least their customer services are pretty cool.


5 thoughts on “Vodafone UK Are A Bunch Of Dark Pattern UX C*nts

  1. I concur, Vodafone are indeed massive scamming cunts. I had a rolling contract, 3G sim card for my iPad, rolling as in “you aren’t contractually obliged”. I sold my iPad, cancelled the payments and binned the sim card, 8 months later they try sending bailiffs after me for an unpaid “contract”. Took me weeks to sort out, and lots of swearing, got the bill written off in the end.

  2. You should be happy. £20 for 15GB?
    In Germany I’m paying €35/mo for 3GB on Vodafone. There’s no 15GB plan, but 30GB. And it’s €200/mo, called VF Black. So calculating it down, it’d be €100/mo (£85). Sorry for your large bill, but as said, you should be happy after all. As long as you don’t touch any buttons it’s cheap af over there.

  3. They’re trying to get 600 quid out of me, after I cancelled my contract with them 18 months ago (i.e. they waited 18 months to decide that actually I owe them money). I cancelled in frustration after three months of no service from them, after they screwed up porting my number to a new sim card. They finally tried to tell me that a) they couldn’t get the number to work, and there was no prospect of their being able to do so in the future, but b) they couldn’t give me a new number, as my account was attached to the old number, and c) they couldn’t give me a new account, because all my details were attached to the old account and you can’t have two accounts, yet d) their non-provision of any service wasn’t sufficient reason for me to cancel the contract without paying them nearly a grand in early cancellation fees. I counted it up, and I’d spent over eighteen hours in total either visiting their shop or on the phone to one of their representatives. The phone support was generally crappy, patronising, trying to persuade me that this was somehow my fault and that I was an incompetent idiot wasting their time. (The shop people, on the other hand, were amazing – the only good part of the whole experience.) So, yeah. I need to decide what to do about the demands for money, before they do something terrible to my credit rating. I’ll never touch them again, as long as I live.

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