Why Vodafone will not be my ISP

I was interested in switching ISP's recently, and given the general dearth of providers in my area had a look at Vodafone. I checked their website, couldn't find a way to switch online, and therefore gave them my number. This, as one can no doubt surmise, was a mistake.

They called while I was at work, and I answered. The very first thing they did was ask me for my date of birth. I responded by pointing out I couldn't see why they would need my date of birth. The salesperson seemed flustered, but continued on bravely. After he asked how much I talked on the phone I said "Just to save us time, I have no interest at all in TV or landline service. What speeds and caps can you offer for broadband at my location?" To this the salesperson responded with "do you stream a lot of TV?" - whether I do or not is none of their business. All I need to know is:

  • How fast is the connection?
  • How much data can I transfer?

I then pointed out I was at work and didn't have lots of time to chat, and could we do this another time, or better yet, can I sign up online without dealing with a phone call at all? He declined to offer the latter, but said they'd call back.

Since then I have received 4 calls from 01 2037800. Every time, these calls are while I'm at work. Every time, they don't leave a voicemail. If you call me and don't leave a message or follow up via email, it's a pretty clear indication that you have no respect for my time whatsoever.

I sympathize for the person who called me. They don't write the script. I imagine some dbag sales manager has it in his head that people are delighted to give their birth date and spend 15 minutes chatting about their favourite shows, and then are so excited to receive a call from a mysterious number they won't hesitate for a moment to call back. Maybe that approach works for most people and I'm a miserable curmudgeon. But I'd like to think there's an ISP out there that caters to nerds who just want fast broadband and don't feel like surrendering all their personal data.

Also, in case anyone from Vodafone sees this, if you sell ADSL service with a freebie (read: crap) modem/router, don't tell people you sell "wireless internet". That's what a microwave ISP does. You sell DSL with a crappy modem/router combo.