Chesterfield carer’s joy at receiving free mobile phone for vulnerable client – with help from Derbyshire Times

A Chesterfield carer is all smiles after Vodafone sent him a free mobile phone to give to one of his vulnerable clients – after the Derbyshire Times got involved when he encountered problems.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 5:24 pm

Neil Hawksworth contacted us after experiencing issues with Vodafone when trying to buy a new mobile for his client, who lost her previous one.

She was in need of a new phone so she could call the Samaritans for emotional support when lonely.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With help from the DT, carer Neil Hawksworth has got a free mobile from Vodafone to give to one of his vulnerable clients who is in need of a new phone. Pictures by Brian Eyre.

We took up the story and contacted Vodafone – and the company then offered to send Neil a free pay as you go mobile, complete with credit, to give to his client.

Neil, of Alexandra Road East, initially told the Derbyshire Times: “I'm a community carer and one of the vulnerable, disabled clients I look after wanted a new mobile phone on Vodafone pay as you go – she lost her old one while in hospital.

“I visited the Chesterfield Vodafone store but they refused to accept cash payment because of Covid.

“I explained that my client doesn't have a bank account but they said they would not accept cash.

It's always nice to report a story with a happy ending.

“I then spoke to Vodafone's customer services based in Egypt – but they proved to be rude and even made personal insults about the way I spoke.

“My client has lots of emotional and mental health problems as well as being physically disabled.

“When she is alone, she often calls the Samaritans for emotional support.

“Obviously she can’t do this at the moment because she doesn't have a phone.

“It's not good at all.”

After we got in touch with Vodafone about this, a spokesperson for the company said: “We don’t take cash in our stores for a number of reasons including security, and health and safety.

“However, we’ll send a pay as you go phone, free of charge, with credit, to the customer to ensure they can keep connected.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that’s been caused, and any unsatisfactory customer service experienced.”

Neil received the device on Thursday.

“Thanks a lot for your help with this,” he told the Derbyshire Times.

All’s well that ends well!

Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Visit www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/subscriptions.