Vodafone stalls for time, screws customers
If you were ever under any doubt that the two main teleco’s were ripping off consumers by running a virtual duopoly on mobile charges, then Vodafone’s latest “procedural” manoeuvre to delay Government intervention should make it pretty clear what’s going on.
Like Telecom has done for so long, Vodafone is fighting to the last lawyer to drag out the juicy profits they make by over charging consumers for so called ‘termination’ rates. These are the charges Telecom and Vodafone levy each other for putting calls through from each other networks, they then naturally pass these on to consumers.
Vodafone should think carefully before going down the track Telecom has done. For years Telecom treated consumers with contempt, obviously figuring their monopoly position would protect them from consumers wrath, and deciding it was better to abuse their position and take the cash, than treat their customers with respect and develop a long term relationship.
Like a couple on a one night stand the level of commitment from both parties ensured that when a better option came along, consumers took it. And they have increasingly deserted Telecom as time’s gone on.
Vodafone has developed a fan base as such with their hip advertising and portraying an image that they ‘get’ what consumers want. This relationship is increasingly on shaky ground and it becomes clear that true to form, Vodafone is yet another large teleco trying to wring every last cent out of it’s customers even if it means doing deals with it’s competitor to maintain a system of charging that is morally reprehensible.
Sure, this is capitalism at work, but because consumers don’t have any choice in the matter because there are only two mobile phone networks, it’s taking customers good will for granted to assume we are stupid enough not to work out what Vodafone is up too.
You’d think Vodafone would see that there is going to be an end to this price gouging and break ranks and just drop the rates and make Telecom look stupid, there’d be plenty of mileage in that sort of move. But a company that tries to hold onto a model of pricing that is ripping off it’s customers looks desperate and arrogant.
Once the Commerce Commission has sorted out termination charges, they need to start looking at the prices charged for data. Vodafone really must be out of touch when they promote 3G networks and mobile internet usage and then charge so much for data usage – especially for roaming. The roaming data charges are reminiscent of the old toll charges when we used to pay $4 a minute to call overseas.