Angry Aboyne residents have formed a Facebook group to share their experiences after being left without mobile signal for over 25 days.
Local residents have been reporting “dire and horrendous” Vodafone signal in the village for almost one month.
Customers have allegedly received varying explanations from the “UK’s Best Network”. One resident told the Piper he had been assured by the network’s Customer Complaints team that there were no issues with signal in the area, whilst others said they had been able to cancel their contracts after Vodafone acknowledged there were ongoing problems.
One group of frustrated customers has gathered together to form a Facebook page called “Deeside Mobile Signal Campaign” where community-minded folk are updating Aboyne residents on their progress.
Kirsteen Higgins, who was involved in setting up the group, said: “This is in response to the fourth signal outage in the AB34 area since November. Two of these outages have lasted over seven days and the current one has been happening since April 2 and is ongoing.
“We started as a post on Deeside Buy, Swap and Sell where we discovered that Vodafone were giving differing reasons as to why the masts are down, incomplete information regarding timescales for repair and incorrect information regarding their complaints process.
“We have been given incorrect advice on the Vodafone forum telling people to visit a store to complain only for people to make the 30mile drive into Aberdeen to be told that the stores cannot deal with complaints. Any request for information on their forum is met with a stock responds and referral to their FAQ.”
“Through the Facebook page we have managed to share information within the community regarding the our rights and the best methods of making our complaints official so that we may take them to the ombudsman.
“There are a number of examples on the Facebook page one of the worst of which has been a case of a woman who broke her foot being unable to call for help (luckily in this case her toddler was able to use a landline). There have also been a number of on call workers who have been unable to be contacted resulting in them losing work.
“The academy in the village also serves most of Deeside which means many parents out with the village are having issues contacting their children.”
Residents have also turned to local political candidates Sir Robert Smith, Barry Black and Stuart Donaldson, as well as local councillors, for help resolving the situation.
Vodafone was contacted for comment. At the time of going to press the Piper was awaiting a response.