Vodafone blames ‘too tall’ Cwmbran trees for signal trouble

Vodafone blames ‘too tall’ Cwmbran trees for signal trouble

Vodafone blames ‘too tall’ Cwmbran trees for signal trouble

First published in News

FRUSTRATED Vodafone customers in Cwmbran were bemused to hear their lack of phone signal is due to too tall Christmas trees.

Customers in Cwmbran have written more than 60 comments on Vodafone’s online forum to complain about their mobile phone coverage over the past three weeks.

The South Wales Argus was told last week that the signal loss has been caused by a physical blockage in the path of the radio link which connects the two base stations which cover Cwmbran.

Yesterday, to customers’ astonishment, Tom, a commmunity manager at Vodafone, took to the forum and explained the problem is due to a Christmas tree farm interfering with the signal.

He said: "We stated earlier in this discussion that this issue is due to ‘line of sight’. This is when trees grow and block the signal from the mast.

"Trees at a local Christmas tree farm have grown so high they are now affecting the line of sight between masts. Unfortunately we’re not able to prune these trees and so need to find another way to get your coverage back.

“We’ve found a solution but this may take a few weeks. While we work on this, we’re looking at utilising a temporary mast so we can get things back to normal sooner rather than later."

Responses to Tom’s statement included: "Do you expect us to wait until the trees are cut for Christmas?", "Santa now gets the blame. Hope he doesn’t knock over any masts when his reindeer flies overhead!" and "There is no christmas tree farm in cwmbran town centre".

On Twitter, users were equally angry: @Kookoo84 said: "Vodafone really sort the signal out in cwmbran. Its getting annoying now"

@claremayers said: "Vodafone signal probs in cwmbran are beyond ridiculous now!"

@simonbeesley said: "It's nearly as good as 'the next train is delayed by leaves on the line!'"

A Vodafone spokeswoman said: "We would like to apologise to our customers in Cwmbran who are experiencing signal problems.

"Tree growth has disrupted the service but our engineers have been working on a solution and we have identified a suitable remedy.

"Unfortunately, the work required could take some weeks so we are exploring the option of deploying a temporary site in the area to make sure customers can continue to use our services."

‘If I stand in garden with a wire I get faint signal’

SIMON Beesley, 43, a store manager from Pontnewydd, has had no phone signal for nearly a month.

He said: “At first I thought the signal issue was something to do with my Iphone5, as I bought it the day before the problems started. But by Monday we realised it was a Cwmbran-wide problem.

“In my house, 99 per cent of the time I have no service.

If I stand in my garden holding a coat hanger or umbrella I get a couple of bars, but it’s still very weak.

“On the rare occasions I do have a small amount of signal, it’s garbled and windy sounding.

“My sister went into labour the other week and had to have an emergency caesarean section, but no-one could tell me as I was unreachable.

“We haven’t had a landline in two years, but last week I had to put one in just so people could get hold of us.

“You just don’t expect this sort of thing from a multinational company which makes millions in profits every year. If I was in their PR department I would just have said there was a problem we are trying to fix.

Saying it’s the fault of Christmas trees just opens them up to ridicule.

“But we’re not being told how long this is going to last for. There just doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.”

Comments (24)

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1:58pm Wed 17 Oct 12

PontyPeter says...

If you check recent issues of the Argus' sister paper, Penarth Times, you will have read a few weeks back that customers in the Penarth area are having similar problems with Vodafone. They also blame it on trees being too tall.
The Vodafone service/signal is generally rather poor, in my opinion.
If you check recent issues of the Argus' sister paper, Penarth Times, you will have read a few weeks back that customers in the Penarth area are having similar problems with Vodafone. They also blame it on trees being too tall. The Vodafone service/signal is generally rather poor, in my opinion. PontyPeter
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Wed 17 Oct 12

KazB says...

Bah humbug.
Absolutely rediculous. It's been over 3 weeks and not so much as an apology. Now it's going to take a few weeks more. Couldn't even get their story right in the first place. I was told that masts have been vandalised. Now they say it's the trees. And where do we stand on refunds? Probably nowhere. Disgusting customer service
Bah humbug. Absolutely rediculous. It's been over 3 weeks and not so much as an apology. Now it's going to take a few weeks more. Couldn't even get their story right in the first place. I was told that masts have been vandalised. Now they say it's the trees. And where do we stand on refunds? Probably nowhere. Disgusting customer service KazB
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Wed 17 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

If it is the case of the trees being too tall, how come we had full signal 1 and then heavy rain then the service went down.

I was on the phone to a friend on mine the night it went down and we got cut off.

Then 1 day last week I think it was Wednesday, we had full signal for 2/3s of the day.

So realistically how can it be down to the trees.

Vodafone has made the excuses that my sim card is faulty which is why I cant get a signal, they have a downright cheek to offer me a Sure signal box for £30 which we should be entitled to FOC under the circumstances.

PAYG numbers can not be diverted to an alternate number.

Ofcom and the Ombudsman wont touch the case until 8 weeks has passed.

Please can anyone explain where we stand, as Voda staff has stated the PAYG customers are not entitled to compensation.
If it is the case of the trees being too tall, how come we had full signal 1 and then heavy rain then the service went down. I was on the phone to a friend on mine the night it went down and we got cut off. Then 1 day last week I think it was Wednesday, we had full signal for 2/3s of the day. So realistically how can it be down to the trees. Vodafone has made the excuses that my sim card is faulty which is why I cant get a signal, they have a downright cheek to offer me a Sure signal box for £30 which we should be entitled to FOC under the circumstances. PAYG numbers can not be diverted to an alternate number. Ofcom and the Ombudsman wont touch the case until 8 weeks has passed. Please can anyone explain where we stand, as Voda staff has stated the PAYG customers are not entitled to compensation. welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

5:57pm Wed 17 Oct 12

irisheyes says...

I went into the Vodafone shop in Cwmbran last Saturday and Stephan,one of their employees had the nerve to tell me it's not a Vodafone problem it's BT so that's another excuse for us having no signal.Vodafone doesn't seem to care about its customers and I've been with them for 16 years but they tell me that it will cost me £300 to terminate my contract.Unfortunate
ly I hadn't upgraded long before we had this issue with them
I went into the Vodafone shop in Cwmbran last Saturday and Stephan,one of their employees had the nerve to tell me it's not a Vodafone problem it's BT so that's another excuse for us having no signal.Vodafone doesn't seem to care about its customers and I've been with them for 16 years but they tell me that it will cost me £300 to terminate my contract.Unfortunate ly I hadn't upgraded long before we had this issue with them irisheyes
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Wed 17 Oct 12

macbumble says...

The council will be putting up the xmas trees around Torfaen next month send them up there to get them. Problem sorted,(haha).
The council will be putting up the xmas trees around Torfaen next month send them up there to get them. Problem sorted,(haha). macbumble
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Dave on his Soapbox says...

.....there are two elements of any mobile connection...the link between the individuals mobile phone and the mast which is governed by signal strength that the phone has due to it's design...and the power that the mast is set at which is determined by area coverage....adjacent masts....locality to schools etc...where output can cause problems.
The second is how the mast is connected to the network...this is typically either via BT/Openreach's local copper, fibre or in some remoter sites via a direct line of sight microwave radio link....which as it inferrs....needs an in upterupted physical line of sight....so over time trees or other passing obstructions...e.g vehicles can block and cause problems....and like Sky satellite TV can even be affected by heavy rain or snow.
.....there are two elements of any mobile connection...the link between the individuals mobile phone and the mast which is governed by signal strength that the phone has due to it's design...and the power that the mast is set at which is determined by area coverage....adjacent masts....locality to schools etc...where output can cause problems. The second is how the mast is connected to the network...this is typically either via BT/Openreach's local copper, fibre or in some remoter sites via a direct line of sight microwave radio link....which as it inferrs....needs an in upterupted physical line of sight....so over time trees or other passing obstructions...e.g vehicles can block and cause problems....and like Sky satellite TV can even be affected by heavy rain or snow. Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Limestonecowboy says...

Vodaphone - I would like. ...ay...usel..pile..
of....hello.. can..you..here...me now?...hello..
Vodaphone - I would like. ...ay...usel..pile.. of....hello.. can..you..here...me now?...hello.. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Wed 17 Oct 12

slushy says...

According to one vodaphone representative last week, he said that there was a fault with some mechanical parts and its taken a few weeks to order them in . . . .. now which one is the truth??????? Pile or rubbish and so many excuses but no one is allowed to cancel their contracts despite not being given the service they are contracted for . . therfore this is breaching the terms of the contract, but again according to vodaphone as the fault had been logged then this no longer applies to the contract rules. . again a pile of rubbish!!!!! Im never going to be a vodaphone customer again and all because you cant tell the truth to your customers.
According to one vodaphone representative last week, he said that there was a fault with some mechanical parts and its taken a few weeks to order them in . . . .. now which one is the truth??????? Pile or rubbish and so many excuses but no one is allowed to cancel their contracts despite not being given the service they are contracted for . . therfore this is breaching the terms of the contract, but again according to vodaphone as the fault had been logged then this no longer applies to the contract rules. . again a pile of rubbish!!!!! Im never going to be a vodaphone customer again and all because you cant tell the truth to your customers. slushy
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Wed 17 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

It seems like the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

TBH

I think the truth is that they do not want to admit that it is faulty equipment as there has been many a issue with those mast, however usually back working within 24-48 hrs.

In the amount of time this has taken to date, surely they could of completely rebuilt the affected masts.

My opinion is they really do not know the cause is, and do not give a monkeys to their consumers.

It is now making me cringe regarding the vast amount of people I had got to sign up with them over the 10+ years.

Just thinking all that business and nothing in return is sending shivers down my spine.
It seems like the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. TBH I think the truth is that they do not want to admit that it is faulty equipment as there has been many a issue with those mast, however usually back working within 24-48 hrs. In the amount of time this has taken to date, surely they could of completely rebuilt the affected masts. My opinion is they really do not know the cause is, and do not give a monkeys to their consumers. It is now making me cringe regarding the vast amount of people I had got to sign up with them over the 10+ years. Just thinking all that business and nothing in return is sending shivers down my spine. welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Wed 17 Oct 12

shakeyshane says...

the fault has been logged since the 28th of sept, the fault happend before that. i spoke to Voda a few days ago and they said once the mast is up and working they would reimburse me for loss of service. will have to wait and see if they keep to there word. They also said they are waiting for parts with no incomming date. i asked voda to cancel my contract as there is a claws on the back of the paperwork saying i can do so if they cant provide me a suitable coverage. After asking they said no so ive taken it to trading standerds and the Ombudsmen. looking forward to changing network. e
the fault has been logged since the 28th of sept, the fault happend before that. i spoke to Voda a few days ago and they said once the mast is up and working they would reimburse me for loss of service. will have to wait and see if they keep to there word. They also said they are waiting for parts with no incomming date. i asked voda to cancel my contract as there is a claws on the back of the paperwork saying i can do so if they cant provide me a suitable coverage. After asking they said no so ive taken it to trading standerds and the Ombudsmen. looking forward to changing network. e shakeyshane
  • Score: 0

8:32pm Wed 17 Oct 12

shakeyshane says...

Thank you for contacting Vodafone Customer Services regarding an ongoing network coverage issue.

I do understand your concern thoroughly and would have felt the same if I were in your place.

We aim to provide you with the services at all times, but owing to the nature of mobile telecommunications, it is impossible to provide a fault free service. The quality and coverage of the services depends partly on your mobile phone, partly on the Vodafone network and partly on other telecommunications networks to which the Vodafone network is connected.

 

The services might be adversely affected by too many people trying to use the network at the same time, physical features such as buildings and under passes and by atmospheric conditions or other causes of interference and may fail or require maintenance without notice.

 

Our engineers are trying to resolve this issue as soon as possible. I'll not be able to give you an exact timescale as to when the issue will be rectified.

 

I have checked your account and can see that cancelling the number without an early termination fees has already been escalated to one of the managers.

I have again talked to my manager and what best we can offer you at this point in time is a credit of line rental for a number of days you were not able to use the services when the services are up and running.

I would appreciate your patience and understanding in this regards.

  Kind regards,Chirag Oza Vodafone Customer ServicesWe hope you have found our Email Customer Service helpful and convenient.
Thank you for contacting Vodafone Customer Services regarding an ongoing network coverage issue. I do understand your concern thoroughly and would have felt the same if I were in your place. We aim to provide you with the services at all times, but owing to the nature of mobile telecommunications, it is impossible to provide a fault free service. The quality and coverage of the services depends partly on your mobile phone, partly on the Vodafone network and partly on other telecommunications networks to which the Vodafone network is connected.   The services might be adversely affected by too many people trying to use the network at the same time, physical features such as buildings and under passes and by atmospheric conditions or other causes of interference and may fail or require maintenance without notice.   Our engineers are trying to resolve this issue as soon as possible. I'll not be able to give you an exact timescale as to when the issue will be rectified.   I have checked your account and can see that cancelling the number without an early termination fees has already been escalated to one of the managers. I have again talked to my manager and what best we can offer you at this point in time is a credit of line rental for a number of days you were not able to use the services when the services are up and running. I would appreciate your patience and understanding in this regards.   Kind regards,Chirag Oza Vodafone Customer ServicesWe hope you have found our Email Customer Service helpful and convenient. shakeyshane
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Wed 17 Oct 12

irisheyes says...

I first reported the problem to Vodafone on 25th Sept !!
I first reported the problem to Vodafone on 25th Sept !! irisheyes
  • Score: 0

9:59pm Wed 17 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

I first reported it to Voda on the 24th sept as the system went done aprox 11;30pm on the 23rd whilst there was heavy rain.

I was speaking on the phone to a freind when we got cut off.
I first reported it to Voda on the 24th sept as the system went done aprox 11;30pm on the 23rd whilst there was heavy rain. I was speaking on the phone to a freind when we got cut off. welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Wed 17 Oct 12

GwentVoice says...

There coverage is rubbish everywhere. Lets face it the tree excuse is amazing! Lots of trees where I am Crap signal on Vodafone and full 3G on T-Mobile.

Perhaps Vodafone need to invest in some infrastructure and stop,over charging.
There coverage is rubbish everywhere. Lets face it the tree excuse is amazing! Lots of trees where I am Crap signal on Vodafone and full 3G on T-Mobile. Perhaps Vodafone need to invest in some infrastructure and stop,over charging. GwentVoice
  • Score: 0

1:05am Thu 18 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

Perhaps Vodafone should take a leaf out of O2's books with a £10m overhaul

http://www.mobilenew
scwp.co.uk/2012/10/1
7/o2-announces-10m-d
atabase-change-to-av
oid-outages/
Perhaps Vodafone should take a leaf out of O2's books with a £10m overhaul http://www.mobilenew scwp.co.uk/2012/10/1 7/o2-announces-10m-d atabase-change-to-av oid-outages/ welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

11:05am Thu 18 Oct 12

redmans says...

When I went into the Vodafone shop in Cwmbran to complain about my service that I am having on 15 Business phones that I own, they told me that the 4G network that Orange and T-Mobile have pushed out is causing big issues with the Vodafone network and cannot see it being resolved. I told them exactly where to put their contract as it has caused my business to suffer. They sent me "new" handsets to see if this would fix the issue, something to do with the radio frequencies needed to be changed on the handsets to get it away from the new 4G network. Out of 15 handsets, 13 were referb's and 1 was locked to 02 and reported stolen 4 months ago. Vodafone has now terminated our contract and demanding over £3000 for ending the contract early. Now I know that it is not just me having all these issues, I can finally take it further. None of these issues that we are all having are nothing to do with customer issues, it is all Vodafone and the users are being punished for it!. Clearly Vodafone need to get all their stories straight as by reading on here, everyone has been given a different story for the network issue. Christmas trees blocking the signal? Vodafone should stop selling mobile phones and become comedians! Clearly they can do a better job as comedians. Utter Joke!!
When I went into the Vodafone shop in Cwmbran to complain about my service that I am having on 15 Business phones that I own, they told me that the 4G network that Orange and T-Mobile have pushed out is causing big issues with the Vodafone network and cannot see it being resolved. I told them exactly where to put their contract as it has caused my business to suffer. They sent me "new" handsets to see if this would fix the issue, something to do with the radio frequencies needed to be changed on the handsets to get it away from the new 4G network. Out of 15 handsets, 13 were referb's and 1 was locked to 02 and reported stolen 4 months ago. Vodafone has now terminated our contract and demanding over £3000 for ending the contract early. Now I know that it is not just me having all these issues, I can finally take it further. None of these issues that we are all having are nothing to do with customer issues, it is all Vodafone and the users are being punished for it!. Clearly Vodafone need to get all their stories straight as by reading on here, everyone has been given a different story for the network issue. Christmas trees blocking the signal? Vodafone should stop selling mobile phones and become comedians! Clearly they can do a better job as comedians. Utter Joke!! redmans
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Thu 18 Oct 12

KazB says...

Makes you wonder whether we will actually get any resolution from vodafone. I for one will continue to complain until I get some compensation. I too am considering coming out of the contract but I don't think they will make it that easy for us - there's always a clause (or should I say santa clause :-))

It's digusting to think that we can't get out of a contract without paying for a fee when we are being provided (or not provided) with such shoddy service.

The saga continues.
Makes you wonder whether we will actually get any resolution from vodafone. I for one will continue to complain until I get some compensation. I too am considering coming out of the contract but I don't think they will make it that easy for us - there's always a clause (or should I say santa clause :-)) It's digusting to think that we can't get out of a contract without paying for a fee when we are being provided (or not provided) with such shoddy service. The saga continues. KazB
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Thu 18 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

Surely us consumers have some sort of legal rights as Voda are clearly in breach , but to cancel peoples contracts and then expect them to pay is downright criminal and clearly fraud.
Surely us consumers have some sort of legal rights as Voda are clearly in breach , but to cancel peoples contracts and then expect them to pay is downright criminal and clearly fraud. welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Mervyn James says...

I have to stand outdoors in all weathers since it refuses to work inside the house. Merv J reporting from the dead zone somewhere near Maindee.
I have to stand outdoors in all weathers since it refuses to work inside the house. Merv J reporting from the dead zone somewhere near Maindee. Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Thu 18 Oct 12

deafbystereo says...

Im one of the unlucky ones as well!! I complained to Vodafone about 2 weeks ago. Their call centre wasnt helpful at all and couldnt give me an expected date when the signal would be back. The one guy I spoke to said I was the only person oin the area that had contacted them...I think not now! Anyway, I want to tell you something that no one has mentioned yet. Their "sure signal" box. I was told it would boost the signal if plugged into the broadband router but then they wanted me to pay £50 for it!!! Funny - I nearly fell off my chair. They wanted me to pay them for boosting their non existent signal!!
I refused and was passed onto a retention team to cancel my contract but the lady spoek to someone and agreed for mew to have one of these boxes for free.....result!! I now have a signal at home but I have to constatntl;y keep my broadband plugged in but at least I can finally txt and take calls.
Thought some of you may want to try this option.
Contact BBC X Ray as well. I spoke to Karen there and she was eager to help me but we left it when I had my signal back with the box.
But yea Vodaphone are complete pants and I wont be renewing my contract with them.
Im one of the unlucky ones as well!! I complained to Vodafone about 2 weeks ago. Their call centre wasnt helpful at all and couldnt give me an expected date when the signal would be back. The one guy I spoke to said I was the only person oin the area that had contacted them...I think not now! Anyway, I want to tell you something that no one has mentioned yet. Their "sure signal" box. I was told it would boost the signal if plugged into the broadband router but then they wanted me to pay £50 for it!!! Funny - I nearly fell off my chair. They wanted me to pay them for boosting their non existent signal!! I refused and was passed onto a retention team to cancel my contract but the lady spoek to someone and agreed for mew to have one of these boxes for free.....result!! I now have a signal at home but I have to constatntl;y keep my broadband plugged in but at least I can finally txt and take calls. Thought some of you may want to try this option. Contact BBC X Ray as well. I spoke to Karen there and she was eager to help me but we left it when I had my signal back with the box. But yea Vodaphone are complete pants and I wont be renewing my contract with them. deafbystereo
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Fri 19 Oct 12

cwmbran man says...

just give amonths notice stating the coverage issues and change suopplier
just give amonths notice stating the coverage issues and change suopplier cwmbran man
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Fri 19 Oct 12

gardener88 says...

I have a business to run what am i to do change networks ?
I have a business to run what am i to do change networks ? gardener88
  • Score: 0

11:46am Mon 22 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

After being on a search for the masts in Cwmbran.

I find it very interesting the Vodafone can have a cheek and blame it on the (LOS) Line of sight.

Ofcom hosts a sightfinder http://www.sitefinde
r.ofcom.org.uk/searc
h

And the results for the NP44 3EN Salisbury court mast proves very interesting indeed.

The Vodafone masts are at 19 meters high which is at least 4 meters higher than O2 and 3 Networks masts which are both at 15 meters high and O2 and 3 are not affected that I am aware of at this present time.
After being on a search for the masts in Cwmbran. I find it very interesting the Vodafone can have a cheek and blame it on the (LOS) Line of sight. Ofcom hosts a sightfinder http://www.sitefinde r.ofcom.org.uk/searc h And the results for the NP44 3EN Salisbury court mast proves very interesting indeed. The Vodafone masts are at 19 meters high which is at least 4 meters higher than O2 and 3 Networks masts which are both at 15 meters high and O2 and 3 are not affected that I am aware of at this present time. welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Mon 22 Oct 12

welshdragon1971 says...

Just found out that

Mobile phone giants plans to axe 2,000 masts: Working together to share networks (... and save money)

http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2156184/Mobile-phone
-giants-plans-axe-2-
000-masts-bid-save-m
oney-welcomed-campai
gners.html?ITO=1490

I am now beginning to wonder if this may or may not have a bearing on the issue, since 1 of the Cwmbrans Vodafone store staff did tell me that there were upgrades going on with the site.
Just found out that Mobile phone giants plans to axe 2,000 masts: Working together to share networks (... and save money) http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2156184/Mobile-phone -giants-plans-axe-2- 000-masts-bid-save-m oney-welcomed-campai gners.html?ITO=1490 I am now beginning to wonder if this may or may not have a bearing on the issue, since 1 of the Cwmbrans Vodafone store staff did tell me that there were upgrades going on with the site. welshdragon1971
  • Score: 0

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