Vodafone still at it… (sucking)

What on earth is going on at Vodafone?

Today I got a text from them on my pre pay phone…

“Fm 1Aug it will be $1 per call to talk to Cust Service on Prepay. You can still manage yr mob free online. For other ways 2manage yr mob &more info freecall 440”

WTF! I already pay for calls, isn’t that meant to be for customer service???? I decided to ring up and find out why, and I was told this charge was to “improve customer service”, the poor guy couldn’t tell me how it was going to improve customer service. Maybe it’s because eventually Vodafone is going to piss off so many customers that they will leave and go else where and customers service will improve because they will have less calls and realise that they need to look after their customers and so things will improve. That’s assuming I can be bothered waiting for that to happen!

In the last few months I have been left with the impression that Vodafone has either;

a/. Employed a lot of ex Telecom managers who are working their collective wisdom on Vodafone’s marketing.

or

b/. Telecom have infiltrated Vodafone management team placing staff from the SOE days in key positions, and they are going to sabotage Vodafone from the inside.

Either is quite possible because it sure as hell looks like Vodafone are starting to take their customers for granted. We had to put up with silly things like a $1 here and a $3 there when we had no option with Telecom and they milked their monopoly position for all it was worth. They seemed to have an entire department that specialised in coming up with various charges, all under $10.

Wasn’t it Theresa Gattung who said something about pricing being confusing to mislead customers?

Now it appears Vodafone are at it.

This week they came up with some pretty ‘interesting’ pricing plans for the new iphone that could be described as rapacious. Now their going to charge $1 to call customer services for prepay customers who already pay high rates. We’ve just had some relatives over from the UK and one of them was on Vodafone, their prepay call plan worked out at half what I pay! It is a depressing reality that some large companies just totally lose the plot when they’ve won the race.

 

Vodafone has worked it’s little red socks off competing with Telecom (well, sort of competing as they really operate a duopoly) and has over 50% of the mobile phone market now. This is also because a lot of people we hacked off with Telecom taking them for granted for so long.

The Chickens were always on their way home with Telecom. Why in god’s name would Vodafone now turn around and behaive in the same way to it’s customers?  There must be some pretty short sighted managers working at Vodafone because there’s just no way people here will put up with it. We’ve had such a recent experience of being used and ab

used and we;’ve got used to being able to switch service providers. 

The strategic advantages Vodafone has had over Telecom have narrowed and there is rumoured to be another mobile phone service provider coming into the market. It would be a miscalculation for Vodafone to assume it’s got things all sorted. The bigger you are the harder you fall, and things seem to move quicker in telecoms and the internet.

If Vodafone wants to retain it’s position then it needs to start building some long term tangible loyalty with it’s existing customers.

Charging me $1 to call customers service is not the way to win Friends!

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  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. I rang Vf to complain about this, strongly. Someone was due to call me back and explain their customer service policy, I’m still waiting. Hmmn, I think I smell a whiney post coming up – I shall be linking to your great post. Thanks

  1. July 17th, 2008

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