In the interests of a balanced and fair review
I've been with Vodafone for years as a customer, rarely ever do I have network or data issues. Sometimes its a little slow, but I'm always connected, and have never been cut off.
As to your obviously jaded and singular point of view descibed in your example, iIf you are asking sales staff technical questions about network operation, what sort of answer do you expect? Think about your audience and ask an appropriate question.
I've found them to be an accomodating and engaging service provider, from a personal contract and business contract point of view, I have in the past, and continue to wholehearteldy recommend them to friends and strangers alike.
I've found their service to be perfectly fine, even when calling up and talking to one of their employees in a call centre. I didn't even see a drop out when they managed the Olympics network. I mean they must be poor if they are were the strategic mobile partner for the Olympics, who would ever give them that contract when they couldn't even run a 3G network! </sarcasm>.
In terms of coverage maybe you should consider that this is regulated by the Conservative government. They don't have free reign to deploy masts wherever they want. 80% of mast planning is blocked by THE PEOPLE that live there. So blame your neighbour. Also remember that EE had a 12 month head start on 4G due to backroom dealing in spectrum, so maybe that plays a factor in the fact that they don't have as much 4G coverage?
Also I'd check your facts a little before mouthing off, Vodafone as a company hasn't been going 30 years.