I phoned the Halifax to complain but the operator on the end of the line assured me that most banks and building societies would be making a change. This is due to Switch becoming Meastro (another European brand being forced on us) and as Solo was part of Switch it is being nicely dropped, hence the adoption of Visa Electron by the Halifax.
I used to have an account with the Abbey National, some years ago, which was Visa Electron and the amount of high street shops that accepted it you could count on one hand. I have found, now that I am being forced to use it again, that more shops seems to accept it, but I have found, as you have, that the online support for it is appalling.
I don't know what is happening with the Switch/Solo/Meastro affair for banks who are not adopting the Visa Electron/Visa Debit path as my wife and I have just come back from 2 weeks in Greece, Zakynthos to be precise, and after 2 days of being there, we had to go back to the safety deposit box and get my Visa Electron card as no one accepted her new (Natwest) Meastro card????