Why Vodafone customers are a pack of lazy whingers


opinion Throughout my life in Australia over the past (almost) 30 years, I have always enjoyed participating in one of our culture’s time-honoured traditions.

It’s a tradition which most Australians enjoy, no matter whether they are rich or poor, male or female, or what ethnic background they call their own. And it’s even a tradition which we share with other worthy cultures such as the French, the Russians, Latin Americans and even the English — despite our current animosity when it comes to cricket.

I speak of course, of laughing at the silly Americans.

Australians, by and large, are somewhat fond of Americans, in the way that one might be fond of a bumbling cousin who keeps on making obvious mistakes. They’re our friends and colleagues. But they are quite different from us in many ways. “Look at the silly Americans!” we love to say. “They are constantly suing each other! They have that idiot George Bush for a president! They never eat fresh food and survive off Coke and donuts! Their healthcare system is a joke! They can’t even walk up the stairs to go to the gym!”

Don’t even get me started about the crazy type of football that they play. It’s probably safe to say that very few Australians have ever truly understood gridiron — and no wonder, when the rules are so much more complicated than our sensible and practical game of AFL.

Nothing is more emblematic of this attitude towards Americans than the way that Australians are currently watching the country’s slow march to having more than one telco which sells the Apple iPhone (hello, Verizon, welcome to the party).

In Australia, when the iPhone 3G first launched in mid-2008, it launched on three major mobile telcos simultaneously. Not so in America. In the US, Apple limited iPhone distribution to AT&T — despite the fact that some people believe its mobile network to be among the worst. I need hardly remind Australians of the depth of angst this caused, due to the ongoing congestion of AT&T’s network. TechCrunch blogger and Apple fanboy MG Siegler, for one, has been on a daily crusade on the issue. In December he wrote:

“For the past 10 days, I’ve been in Paris … there was something peculiar about my iPhone in Paris. It actually worked. Like it was supposed to. All the time … And this is hardly the first time I’ve experienced this. Back in April, I was in Japan for a little over three weeks. I was floored by how well the iPhone worked there.”

No shit, Sherlock. Why does it come as a surprise that the US might not have the world’s best everything? Silly American.

Now, I had previously been laughing at the Americans for putting up with their AT&T issue. If they cared so much, I thought, why didn’t they just dump their iPhone and adopt Android on a better network; or even crack their iPhone and take their existing device elsewhere? It’s not like it’s hard to do so. You could even have an Oprah show to explain the technique. But over the past few weeks, I’ve realised that to laugh this way would be hypocritical, as Australia is currently hosting an even bigger and more vocal bunch of lazy whingers than exists in America.

I speak, of course, of Vodafone customers.

Right now, there are thousands of angry Vodafone customers clogging internet forums, the company’s customer service help line, and even my own email inbox, with complaints that the brand’s network is simply not up to scratch. Some 9,000 of these people are so frustrated by the fact that the handful of pocket change they’re paying isn’t earning them the nearly infinite mobile access they thought it would that they’re prepared to take part in a class action lawsuit.

Now as much as I would love to sympathise with them, these people just crack me up. And I’ll explain why.

To start with, it’s been pathetically obvious that the Vodafone mobile network hasn’t been up to scratch for some time. In June last year, for example, analyst house IDC made the audacious claim that Optus’ 3G mobile broadband was only four percent behind Telstra’s Next G offering across a range of criteria.

The claim was greeted by a howl of protest from readers who pointed out a range of areas where Optus’ network was deficient — and IDC itself acknowledged Next G was on average 60 percent faster. Here’s the kicker: At the time, IDC didn’t even bother mentioning Vodafone’s network … which was presumably somewhere far behind in their tests, a distant third.

As early as August 2008 CNET reviewer Joseph Hanlon was warning readers to check Vodafone’s network footprint carefully before committing to a mobile broadband contract. Then there’s the fact that VHA continually refuses to disclose how fast its network actually is — as opposed to Telstra, which will tell you down to the last Mbps.

Wow, what a shocker. Warning signs much?

Yes, yes, let me say it clearly. Vodafone customers, you were warned about this. You were told, years in advance, constantly, that the network you were signing up to was patchy, slow, and full of holes.

And yet, despite the fact that Telstra has built a billion dollar alternative (Next G) which many onlookers consider to be a visionary piece of engineering and possibly curently the best mobile phone network in the world, you were still determined to save $10 per month off your mobile bill and go for the cheaper option.

Now you’re reaping the consequences of that choice.

Now, I don’t want to say all Vodafone customers are whingers. For starters, many (including the founder of Vodafail himself) have already successfully exited their Vodafone contract at minimal cost and have gone elsewhere. These sensible souls have no doubt now been welcomed with open arms by Telstra’s rapidly improving customer service team and are now enjoying the benefits of a mobile network which … just simply works — as insane as that may sound to a Vodafone customer.

But let’s face it: The vast majority of the 9,000 customers who have signed up for the class action lawsuit against the telco are probably still struggling along, refusing to quit their contract and getting frustrated every day when their network stalls or drops out.

To these people I say: You are butting your head against a brick wall.

It will take at least a year for Piper Alderman’s class action lawsuit to generate any results, and even if it does, you will only get a proportion of your wasted contract money back, after the law firm and its backers take their (substantial) cut. Fighting the lawsuit will diminish Vodafone owner VHA’s resources even further, and likely distract from planned network improvements. There is also no guarantee that the upgrades will have any real impact on any individual customer’s situation.

Furthermore, VHA has already allowed some customers with demonstratable problems to quit their contract early without penalty. So how much more invitation do Vodafone customers need to stop whinging and take action? It’s like the world is handing them a golden ticket to a free ride and they’re hanging on for double platinum cash-out payday millionaire bonanza.

Don’t whinge about the company which is providing you with poor service, then sue them, and finally, demand the Government do something about their security problems. It’s an open, competitive market, people. DUMP THEIR ASS AND PICK ANOTHER PROVIDER. How hard can it be? Really, Vodafone customers, how long will it take you to realise you can go elsewhere?

And one last thing: This “class action lawsuit” business in general.

Let’s face it: In reality, most Vodafone customers who have signed up for this instant cash grab will have spent less than $2,000 in total — usually, far less — on Vodafone services over the past year or two. The only reason so many have signed up is because it takes so little effort to do so — literally, 30 seconds to fill out an online form and then a little more time to respond to any further enquiries the law firm may choose to make.

The truth is, for Vodafone customers, participating in a class action lawsuit is essentially an attempt to validate what was their own poor choice of network provider to start with. These are people trying to prove to themselves that they weren’t the only people taken in by Vodafone’s marketing spin, that they actually made the right decision but were lied to, that above all — it’s not their fault, it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, don’t blame my decision.

However, the truth is, Vodafone customers, it was your fault. You had, and still have — a choice. Your constant complaining and participation in this ridiculous class action lawsuit will in fact go far towards perpetuating the idea that Australians — when it comes to their ability to make sensible purchasing decisions — are no better than … you guessed it: Silly Americans.

Renai LeMay dumped Optus in mid-2010 after a series of network hitches and is now a loyal and satisfied customer of Telstra’s Next G network.

Image credit: Leo MF, Creative Commons


    • “Telstra’s rapidly improving customer service team” – choke, certainly not my experience. Up till the point where I dropped Telstra altogether, my experience with their customer service was a rapid downhill decline. Hours of frustration and repetition to get anything sorted out. Not saying that VHA is any better for customer service.

      • I also choke on the “Telstra’s rapidly improving customer service team”. Where we live you can’t even get Telstra service unless you have one of their horrible blue tick phones and they won’t even talk to you unless you do. Will they improve the tower? No! Why do that when Optus will pay them to raise the height of the tower.
        No way on earth I would lower myself to go to Telstra for their pityful service (or lack of).
        Try living in an area like this where you can get NO service at all then tell me about your problems.

      • Yep, the “rapidly-improving Telstra customer service” was a blatant troll. *smacks Renai*

        They have a great network, but their provision for rural areas and their customer service both have has a l-o-n-g way to go.

        On the Vodafone issue, I think customers have a good reason to be feel cheated by the advertizing, and this also applies to the “unlimited” plans on any network. You’d have to dig pretty far down in the fine print to see anything about the network coverage or extra costs for going over your quota, never mind delays in starting extra data packs you’ve purchased. While customers are becoming more aware of the info and review capablity available to them online, it helps if you know what to look for. Meanwhile, the ads pull in more trusting and ultimately disillusioned and angry buyers.

  1. YOUR A *censored* !!!

    [Editor’s note: Wow, looks like I still do have powers of moderation over the comments on my own site. Come again!]

  2. I’ll go against the grain here. I’ve been a mobile customer of all three – (and currently on Vodafone) – and while Vodafone certainly isn’t up to NextG standards, I’ve never seen the dramatic problems that some are having.

    It drops out in much the same places that Telstra does – (admittedly, it drops “a little quicker”, suggest similar coverage, but weaker signal) – but certainly nothing like what some a complaining about.

    It’s been some years since I’ve dealt with an Optus connection, but had terrible experience there, and although they seem to have improved, I’m not “over” their attitude towards the issues when I had them.

    Yes, Vodafone have some troubles – this is the price they are paying for their good pricing – a lot of people have joined, and they are loaded up, and struggling in some geographies.

    If anything, this is more proof that a fully wireless NBN won’t cut it.

    • I do think to some extent the Vodafone problems have been over-dramaticised — there is no doubt that there are vast segments of the telco’s network which are functioning normally and have done for years; in addition, many of the wider problems caused over the past few months have been due to one-off software problems, for example, which I believe to have been rectified.

      For me, however, the main problem with Vodafone’s network is more related to the ongoing upgrade cycle. In my estimation, while Telstra is pushing towards 42Mbps, 84Mbps and beyond, Optus and Vodafone are now running the risk of being several iterations behind their larger rival.

      This may mean that there will eventually be a ‘step change’ between Next G and the networks of Optus and Vodafone. It is this that I think they should be more worried about.

  3. I agree, we are now almost as bad as the Yanks with our unrealistic and foolish expectations.

    The only thing the telco’s ever legally are obliged to do is bill you every three months. However many hundreds of pages of terms and conditions aren’t just there to make them look like they know what they are doing. 100% network connectivity isn’t part of the plan! For this reason, the vodafail law suit will fail. I believe the plan all along was to hope for an early out of court settlement, something Vodafone is far to large a telco to fall for.

    And as for network being crap, it comes down to your expectations. No matter which network you are on there will be problems. Some are hardware, some are software and some are just due to big freakin floods. I am still on Vodafone, and I am actually quite happy with their service. I can make and receive phone calls, send and receive txt messages, and my emails get delivered to my iphone far too regularly in my opinion.

    100% connectivity isn’t a right, its a curse!

    If anything, vodafone should be charging you a privilege for having an excuse to not take that call. (sorry mother-in-law, I wasn’t able to come and pick you up because the phone network wasn’t up to scratch. You had to walk home? In the rain? I am SOOOOO sorry.) (Not)

    • lol not sure about that last part, but you’re right — much of this is indeed covered in telcos’ terms and conditions. Whether those terms and conditions themselves are a problem is another matter for debate. I personally believe them to be way too complex.

  4. I agree with this article entirely.

    It’s just like companies that use lead paint in their toys – you should have researched your purchasing options better and it’s your own fault for poisoning your children.

    Government should only collect taxes, go to war and stop the boats – right?

    • Um, big difference there is that nobody knew lead was a bad thing until it was already too late. You could see the problems with Voda’s network coming from a hundred miles away….

      Personally, I’m with optus and quite happy. You get what you pay for, and my phone isn’t 100% business critical for me, so I don’t mind if I end up somewhere with no reception, or slow downloads, or whatever. In fact, in terms of a data connection, I’m rarely away from a Wi-Fi connection anyway so that’s never really a big deal for me.

    • I’m taking this comment as somewhat tongue in cheek ;)

      However, as a small government advocate, I don’t completely disagree with this statement:

      “Government should only collect taxes, go to war and stop the boats – right?”

      Well, at least if — as I take you to mean — you’re saying that the Government should take care of internal and external security and currency control — and not much else unless there is an obvious need the private sector won’t fulfill :)

    • Mr/Ms Anony Mous,

      You said it. Big business well, its their right to **** us. Its actually always the consumers fault. For being a pesky peasant. We should probably be shot too.

      Renai you are the Troll Queen. The Queen of the Trolls.

  5. I’ve recently switched from Telstra to Vodafone … simply because I wanted an HTC Desire HD, and it was the only way I could get one. Damn HTC for locking different models to individual carriers! :)

    Anyway, I’ve noticed very little difference between the Telstra coverage in both Melbourne metro and in a couple of regional areas (don’t travel out of the city much). I didn’t have a smartphone before, so can’t compare the data coverage, but the phone side of things is just fine.

    Also, the Voda staff at the local store (Barkly St, St Kilda) are awesome and wonderful compared to the Telstra folk we used to battle with. There was a problem with our first bill, which they fixed in no time flat with smiles on their faces. Since then, it’s all been goodness.

    • Do you actually believe the only way to get a particular handset is from a carrier? Perhaps you should investigate this thing called “the internet” which lets you buy stuff from wherever you want (usually) and have it sent directly to your doorstep, without any of this silly carrier locking business.

      • Greg you might have almost fooled people that you know what you’re talking about.

        Purchasing the HTC DHD ‘off the internet’ at the time it was launched on Vodafone was MUCH more expensive than the stupid deal Vodafone offered for mobile access AND handst repayments.

        There is also the issue that some people have with purchasing locally for warranty – which happens to be an issue with HTC.

        There are many more reasons Greg but I’m sure you know about them already since you would have read about them on ‘the internet.’


        • Not only much more expensive and no warranty, but my understanding is that the Desire HD doesn’t play so nicely with the Telstra network.

          And like I say, I can’t notice difference in service, the VHA people I deal with are nicer than the Telstra folk, so I’ve got no complaints. :)

  6. Interesting you didn’t mention anything about Vodaphone leaving all their customer’s private information (including driver’s licence details, address, credit card numbers and call records) publicly accessible.

  7. For me the Vodafone network was great until Oct 2010. That is when all my troubles started with disconnects, no 3G, no internet, basically no access.

    So I cancelled my contract and refused to pay out the contract fee. Problem solved!

  8. Pretty crappy article, nice antidote evidence.

    Telstra also quotes maximum speed of the technology, which in reality its 1/10th of that.

    I will just assume that you have no experience or knowledge of mobile technology, just like you assume Vodafone customers are a bunch of whingers and have been constantly updated by IDC…

    • It is not an article. It is an opinion peice and clearlt marked as such (and a pretty sarcastic one too). Someone needs to download a sense of humour.

  9. Wifey is trying to dump them, though she cant do that without breaking contract. So she has to get them to agree to break the contract without a fine/payout figure.
    To do that she has to sit for hours on hold waiting for their terrible excuse for “support” to tell her to reboot the phone and try again.

    It’s rather infuriating.
    The longest time on hold so far was 206 mins, and after that we gave up because we had a prior appointment to get to.

  10. The irony of a “Article” complaining about customers who complain is not lost.

  11. I have been on Vodafone for the best part of a decade without any major issue.

    To be fair though, over the xmas period I did have some issue where the network would essentially lose my phone when jumping between cells. As a business connection this was not good as people could not call my mobile and I could not call out. To make problems worse was the fact that I was completely unaware that people could not call me. I thought they all tough I was on holidays and not answering my phone.

    After a batch of regular callers contacted me via alternate means I became aware of the problem and took swift action. The first call to the business support team took about 1.5 hours and they advised to reset the network setting on my iPhone…. this worked, well at least till the next day. Another call to the business support team (1hr) and they raised a network fault issue related to my local cell.

    1hr later, I get a call from an engineer …… and the problems seem to be fixed.

    Apart from the occasional accounts issue related to our accounts people not paying my bill etc etc I have never really had any reason to contact Vodafone. So over a 10 year period I have to contact them a handful of times related to technical support, maybe a total of 3-4 hrs of my time talking to them…. this is pretty good. Many clients and friends on Telstra & Optus complain constantly about billing problems, technical problems and having to deal with shitty customer support.

    Every company has issues from time to time, and yes Vodafone had an issue over the xmas period in Sydney (CBD) due to a bad software upgrade, which probably did cause some people some headaches including myself.

    Opinion : If you don’t like Vodafone, don’t use their services. Many of the people that have complained to me re Vodafone over the last month or so have not even attempted to call Vodafone seeking support cos they just couldn’t be bothered. Seems they just like to whinge & bitch.

    The whole VodaFail thing went viral and people who didn’t really have any major issues became Vodafone enemy #1 as their attitude was being influenced by this growing wave of people in their same situation.

    I only just noticed that Vodafone has now expanded it’s call centre to 24×7 and has apparently fixed the issues related to the xmas network software upgrade.

    If your going to complain, do it in a meaningful and productive way. Signing up for a class action won’t fix your problems it will only provide the law firm in question with a financial return should it be successful in 5+ years time.

    • Agree.

      There are mechanisms in place to get issues like this sorted out without resorting to legal action.

      Try and address it with your carrier – no luck?

      Suggest to your carrier that you’re happy to get the TIO involved – no luck?

      Actually get the TIO involved – almost always works – (and has the advantage of no legal costs)

      I’d had to see Australia turn into the litigious cesspool that is the United States legal system.

  12. Four points –
    1 Yes I’m with Vodafone
    2 Yes I’ve recently had problems but not too bad and only have a couple of months in a 24 month contract after which I will change.
    3 The problems seem to have only really started when they merged with 3. Bad move !
    4 I’m not joining the class action as the day we start encouraging these greedy mass tort lawyers is the day we truly do become “Silly Americans”

  13. Renai, your comments are spot on, many VF customers need to look in the mirror, In the trade its been known for many years VF network has been less engineered that its peers.
    Its the bogan comsumer not doing research , have the all you can eat mentality by signing up to VF Infinaty plans.

    • I think that’s it … realistically, why did these people expect top-grade service when they were paying bottom of the barrel rates?

  14. As someone who works for VHA, I couldn’t agree more about people being a pack of “lazy whingers”. The problems the network experiences are predominately in the Sydney CBD and that’s why most customers have no idea what people are complaining about.

    Get over it and stop bitching, or get off you ass and do something about it, It’s not rocket science people. And FYI, the staff working in stores aren’t personally responsible for the network, so screaming at them about it won’t help!

    • I’m one of the unlucky people who actually do work in Sydney CBD and here the Vodafone network has gone from bad to worse to ridiculous. What is Vodafone doing to fix the issue and do you know when they expect to have resolved it?

      Also might be worth mentioning that the reason I chose Vodafone was because I have previously used them for 7-8 years in both Sweden and the UK – never had a problem with them there. I didn’t expect their service to be complete shit over here.

      • I’ve been a customer of all three carriers, and it really does come down to choosing and using the one that works for you, where you need it to work. When I first started working for Vodafone they still had orientation courses that covered the basics, such as “Mobile phones are radios”, and once you realise that, and keep in mind that radio is largely a line-of-sight thing, you become a bit more understanding of the holes in coverage. No carrier can cover everywhere in a big city or even within a concrete-and-steel building. I find myself more often amazed when I *do* get coverage in those spots.

        Does that make for a better customer experience? No. But you have to be realistic. If you go to a concert and the guy sitting in front of you is very tall, you can’t ask them to move the stage just so you can see. Even if it were possible, it would likely cause other people issues.

        The carriers can alter where their base stations are, sometimes by negotiating deals with property owners, but usually nowadays they all go through outsourced companies for locating their base stations, and therefore you will often find all the base stations on the same tower. They can also alter their antenna configurations, opting for narrow, stronger coverage, or wider, weaker coverage. They can also alter where the antennas point, so do they point that antenna in the city down towards the street or sideways to cover the nearby buildings. Whatever they do, they probably won’t do for just one customer, but they might do it for a lot of customers. So basically, if you get bad coverage you can always tell the carrier, but don’t hold your breath while they improve it.

    • And here in lies the problem with the whole sorry Vodafone debate……. It is blinded people like yourself within your organisation, that just dont seem to get it. Sorry Sir, but the problems are not just isolated to Sydney CBD.

      It’s time someone in your organisation started to open their eyes, stop the constant PR babble and actually started listening to people.

      It’s no wonder there are so many disgruntled customers.

  15. This does stink of troll. You really sound like you’re blaming the victims here.

    I did research before I signed up with Vodafone … they had the best plans, were the only ones to offer free tethering and visual voicemail, and my friends in Sydney who were on Vodafone appeared to have very good reception and reliable data… much better than I had with Virgin (Optus) at the time.

    So now – 18 months later – their network quality takes a nosedive and data becomes extremely unreliable… that’s all my fault and I should just shut up?

    If mobile Telcos force us to sign up to 2 year contracts then we expect reasonable service for the length of that contract. The network ‘warning signs’ you talk about came way to loo late for me, and let’s face it .. the average Australian doesn’t have the time or patience to interpret obscure mobile industry studies about Vodafone’s competing networks to work out how that applies to the service they signed up for.

    • Fair call, you did your research and got burnt. But with your contract almost finished, you shouldn’t now be complaining about shitty service. You should exercise your consumer right, cut your losses and go to another provider. Save yourself some time and mental energy ;)

      • Of course… that’s my plan.

        So I rang Telstra’s sales team to ask my options… waited on hold for 15 minutes, then as soon as it sounded like somebody was going to answer I was promptly disconnected. Great first impression Telstra.

  16. I believe your opinion piece shows an amazing lack of insight or knowledge about Australian consumer law or common sense in general.

    Unfortunately the majority Vodafone customers experiencing problems will not be able to, as you so charmingly wrote “DUMP THEIR ASS AND PICK ANOTHER PROVIDER” because those consumers agreed to enter into a fixed-term contract with penalty clauses applying to early termination. Those consumers are not able to simply walk away from their contract.

    Yes, certain parties have been able to successfully negotiate with Vodafone for a penalty-free exit. However, they were only able to do so after extensive contact with Vodaphone’s support services. I suspect the majority, if not most, Vodefone consumers will not be able to terminate the contract early without expending considerable time to show Vodefone has breached the contract terms and/or involving the ombudsman (i.e. the founder of Vodafail).

    I find your comments about it being “pathetically obvious” that the Vodefone network wasn’t as advertised to be particularly misguided.

    Most consumers will not be familiar with the technical nature of the network they are signing up. Caveat emptor remains a valid legal maxim, but if, as you said, consumers were presented with claims (from analyst house IDC or from other ‘independent’ analysts) of an effective network then a reasonable person would be justified in relying on such claims. If those claims were false at the time then consumers were misled and should be entitled to compensation in accordance with Australian trade practice law.

    Likewise, if Vodefone is now not providing a level of service in accordance with the terms of its contract then consumers who are effected are entitled to fair compensation.

    As I understand your opinion piece, you are essentially critising consumers who, broadly speaking, subscribed to a service in good faith after being presented with claims of a level of service that was not subsequently delivered. Further, you single out and berate those consumers who have now decided to exercise their legal right and seek compensation. I think it’s you who is being silly.

    • Fair criticism, however you are overblown on a number of your points. Firstly, let’s not forget — as I pointed out — that these wronged consumers are fighting over typically less than $2,000 worth of contract — and, I would bet, less than $1,000 in most cases.

      Is it really worth it to go to court for that amount? The answer — if there wasn’t big daddy law firm picking up the bills courtesy of class action — is no. The legal costs are too extreme.

      “If those claims were false at the time then consumers were misled and should be entitled to compensation in accordance with Australian trade practice law.”

      Sounds great, but how much compensation will this actually be? $1k? $500 once Piper Alderman takes out its fees? Wow.

      Secondly, you haven’t addressed my point that by not dumping Vodafone’s ass, these consumers are still not able to get the service that they want. If they’re not getting the service they paid for by Vodafone, they’re not going to improve that situation by continuing to pay for it.

      Instead, they will continue to pay for something for which they’re not satisfied.

      Also, I think you’re underestimating the extent to which Vodafone is willing to negotiate at the moment, with or without the TIO. I think a lot of these customers — if they have genuine complaints they can prove — will be able to get out of their contracts without too much hassle, and then go somewhere else.

    • Agree, but you did miss Renai’s point – (I think!)…

      I saw his point as being there are ways to “correctly” go about these things – (as I highlighted above, and you also infer) – but that’s not what I read into what he’s saying.

      I see it as “don’t bitch and moan if you’ve not tried to resolve it”…again, as you suggest it should be. Many in the so called “#vodafail” debate are bitching, and haven’t bothered to contact Vodafone…

      That’s where the “lazy” comes into it…

      Then of course, I might have misread it too… ;)

      • The generalising statement branding all Voda customers who complain as lazy whingers is not reasonable (like most generalising statements) and I think Renai himself doesn’t even believe ALL those complaining are ‘lazy whingers’. Surely he would concede at least some customers do have legitimate concerns and SHOULD be complaining, especially if they are doing it constructively (ie. trying to resolve issues with Voda, then TIO etc).

        But the heading attracts attention and is a blog title piece win, as evidenced by all the commenting activity. So I wouldn’t be too fussed over being called a ‘lazy whinger’, Renai is just being a smart journo ;)

        I would like to add tho, that unlike Renai, most people are not tech experts and do not know a whole lot about telcos when they sign up for a service. They do rely on fair representations from the vendors (as ‘the lawyer’ said) and that is legally enough – the vendors/sellers are meant to be the experts.

        When I signed up with Voda 2 yrs ago, I had no idea they were considered the ‘cheap option’ – I was with 3 previously and hated their customers service and I wanted something different and was willing to pay more. I was assured by Voda they had great customer service. I also did not know then that Voda and 3 were in the process of merging. It’s not reasonable for an ordinary consumer to do research on a business’s merger/acquisition activities.

  17. Entertaining article, gave me a few good laughs.

    We were with Three originally, out of contract for a couple of years then switched over to Vodafone when the iPhone 3GS came out. We took multiple handsets under contract and Vodafone was excellent. Then about August / September last year it started to slow down, bad enough that I had to use a VPN connection from my iPhone to the office, and use the office for all international data as their international backhaul is so over-saturated and contention ratios are a joke. It got worse, calls from inside the office were dropping, you would find yourself jumping from your desk and pressing up against a window to hold reception. Then it got worse, we would have to go outside, to the point that we left a Marquee setup outside to stand under incase it was wet & raining! Enough was enough the situation had become ridiculous. We called Vodafone, they said they needed 2 to 3 days to “investigate” so we informed them “that’s fine take 7 days.” However “failure to either resolve the issues, or alternatively release us from contract will see us lodge a complaint with the TIO.” On 7 days they called back wanting more time, we informed them this was not good enough and we would lodge a complaint immediately, we had given them enough time. I asked personally if they could state that they had a person for 7 days working on the issue 9-5 M-F, because anything short of that was a stalling tactic to still keep us waiting. They could not answer so we hung up after informing them they had not met our deadline, having been tired of working to their time table. The next day they called back, apologised, and released us from contract. We switched all handsets to Telstra with the iPhone 4, and the service is simply excellent. We travel and run multiple events around the country, and having travelled to 2 of these locations already we had full signal and coverage, where with Vodafone I had to forward the number to my Skype account and take calls over a Telstra NextG wireless internet dongle that kept my skype connected due to no Vodafone coverage.

    The only plus side for Vodafone is that their Visual Voicemail on the iPhone works, and I miss this a lot as it’s incredibly convenient opposed to having to go through the menu with Telstra’s message bank.

    Telstra is incredibly reliable for us, if we are interstate, we use the handsets wirelessly tethered via Bluetooth to our laptops, and all our emails, contacts, CRM management etc is all synced whilst we are on the go. With Vodafone it was very much hit and miss trying to get enough reception/bandwidth for this to work.

    Personally I have hated how Telstra slowed down the movement of ADSL2+ in this country, and their monopolistic dominance and headaches they have caused. However, when it comes to their NextG service nothing so far comes close and it’s worth every cent we spend with them.

  18. “You were told, years in advance, constantly, that the network you were signing up to was patchy, slow, and full of holes.”
    Really? To this day Vodafone insists on their website map and via support staff they have 3G coverage that it is impossible for them to have.
    How do I know? I went to ACMA and requested the location of all licenced radiocommunication antennas in my area. All well outside the 5km theoretical limit. Let’s hope they send me a powerbalance for my phone to make it transmit that far.

  19. Wow, food for though.

    So let me get this straight, you want people to leave vodafail (a network that is inadequate) for another “Telstra” thats billing system has never worked, and customer service that is the worst in the business. Hmm ok I’m guessing you didn’t sell those T2 shares when you should have.

    Further more;
    1) Most people will have SUBSTANTUAL break of contract fees
    2) Your article failed to outline how those with consistent issues can get out of their contracts
    3) Anything useful for Vodafail customers to do other than complain.

    PS. I’m with a Telstra network reseller (why sign up for Failure?)

  20. “It’s an open, competitive market, people. DUMP THEIR ASS AND PICK ANOTHER PROVIDER. How hard can it be? Really, Vodafone customers, how long will it take you to realise you can go elsewhere?”

    Indeed, this is why we had the cold war – because we wanted capitalism not communism. Which means that if things suck, you dont waste your time (and your own tax dollars) whinging to the government, you just take your business elsewhere.

    Its not like we are short of options either, we have Telstra – faster, better coverage, more expensive, and Optus, slower, less coverage, cheaper. Seems like a very straight forward set of options.

  21. Couldnt agree more. As a financial planner, I can say the same things of banks and home loans. I think it’s simply easier for people to bitch and moan about things than to actually do something. The “gonnas” of this world will get left behind to their “Today Tonight” and “A Current Affair” by the people who actually take control of their lives.

  22. Hi Renai LeMay,

    I know this piece is your opinion and everyone is entitles to have an opinion but here is why your opinion is wrong.

    1. Whingers are good you know why? It because we have whingers that companies shape up and actually improve services. If a company doesn’t get any complaints for poor service and no one complains, what are these companies going to do? Improve services out of good faith?

    2. Because of the public backlash more of the public are made aware of the situation, your assumption of everyone knowing that Vodafone/3 is a bottom of the barrel network is unfounded as the general public are not as smart or tech savvy as you and with all the cricket promotions and heavy advertisement I think its misleading consumers. (This point is argue extensivly so i won’t go further)

    3 The court case, i think the court case have done what it needed to do it made the situation gain media attention and public attention its also on face value excerising our rights as consumers to keep companies in line. Individual’s that join might not get any money but its the principle that counts. As mentioned we are fighting for our rights, not money so that vodafone will think twice before crashing their whole network.

    4 “Secondly, you haven’t addressed my point that by not dumping Vodafone’s ass, these consumers are still not able to get the service that they want. If they’re not getting the service they paid for by Vodafone, they’re not going to improve that situation by continuing to pay for it.”

    People aren’t stupid and this is why I am emphasising the point of whingers gaining media and public interest. To warn people of the situation Vodafone is in, by your logic and everyone behaves, then no one will know of the problems with vodafone and new people will fall into the trap of signing with them for two years. And TIO calling up vodafone is not a easy as you think I for one spend 4 hours yes four hours(Vodafone waiting time is like 3.5 for customer service) (Resolutions from TIO didn’t call back till after 4 days) to get out of my contract some people don’t have the time for this! and yes writing a blog/forum takes less time of 10min. So why should we waste our time when its the company that is at fault?



  23. Vodafone actually works ok here and that is on a cheap android huwei touchphone.
    Alot of people just expect way tooo much from their mobile phones…. after all they are MOBILE phones and not a computer with a proper “WIRED” connection.

  24. “Don’t whinge about the company which is providing you with poor service, then sue them, and finally, demand the Government do something about their security problems. It’s an open, competitive market, people. DUMP THEIR ASS AND PICK ANOTHER PROVIDER. How hard can it be? Really, Vodafone customers, how long will it take you to realise you can go elsewhere?”

    You do realise most people who are on smartphones are on contracts right? Which are difficult to get out of at the best of times without having to front up a buttload of cash in cancellation fees. We have done our part in paying on time for the service, but Vodafone has not held up their end of the bargain by providing a reliable telephone service.

  25. why dont you take a page out of your own rant and just shutup and let the vodafail customers do what they want?

    Your not a vodafone customer, you can choose not to read the ‘vodafail whinge’, but yet you did and you whinged about it, I dont consider this writing.

    Whinging about whinging is worst than the whinge itself.

    Yes you can turn my own words back at me. Just proves me right.

    • Um … well it’s not really my role to shut up — I’m a journalist and a commentator — it’s my role to write about things and engage in debate ;)

        • You sound like one of those Neanderthal’s who trolls the comment pages on the SMH website. :P

      • what journalism you can’t even argue my point because you know you don’t have any good ammunition other then your ego!

  26. I can’t agree more, I was a Vodafone Customer, Did the foot work, got a discount.

    Still wasn’t happy with the lack of basic phone calls, so I left and went to Telstra.

    Things just work with Telstra.

  27. Regarding the privacy thing, when you know a little bit about the truth behind the story, it really makes you appreciate how much the media beats up a story when they’re bored. Saying that Vodafone customer data was available on the internet is like saying that your banking or tax return data is available on the internet.

    If you file your tax return through an accountant, they will have a username and password which allows them to securely access your information as stored at the tax office. Vodafone’s systems are similar when allowing stores and dealers to access customer data.

    The real issue isn’t the internet bit, it’s the fact that VHA and some dealers have failed to ensure that their staff are only accessing details for customers they should. So while it doesn’t fix the fact that someone looked at someone else’s details without proper cause, it makes it a staff discipline issue, and not a technology issue. People will lose their jobs over it and possibly face criminal charges, I’m sure, but probably only the people who did it, not the people who let it happen through inattention or incompetence.

  28. Renai you establish a good argument when you state that only fool would sign with Vodafone when their system delivery is so poor. What I think you overlook is the fact that the vast majority of Vodafone customers do not possess a high degree of knowledge where mobile phone delivery is concerned.

    Most do not even realise that there is a vast difference between the top shelf Telstra and others. I do think that every person who purchases a mobile phone should resonably expect that the phone will deliver in every area advertised by the Company.

    Surely it would be fair to expect Vodafone to release customers from their legal obligation if it is an established fact that the advertised service is not being delivered. I know your laughing at the Americans was in jest (to some extent) but the Yanks still run the greatest Country the World has ever seen.

  29. Don’t forget a majority of the Vodaphone’s helpdesk was outsourced to Egypt about 6yrs back now (at the cost of my job position and many others) At least Telstra still have offices in our country (besides corporate), sure their coverage is great, but always at a higher price (though in recent days they have become a bit more competitive) IMO I’ll stick with Optus as i have for the past 10yrs (thats right i was with optus for my mobile even while i worked for Vodaphone, as I saw what problems many had with the network and coverage), they have yet to fail me, though reception can be a bit patchy at times (ironically in north Sydney just near one of their head offices, i only get GPRS reception instead of 3g goodness haha)
    So in conclusion, theyre all shit, try and pick the lesser of three evils.

  30. Trolling or not, you’re a *censored*. I’m glad all the business I’ve lost, on the assumption that one of the world’s leading brands would have a decent network, has aroused your disdain. How wonderful for you to feel so superior to those who don’t spend their lives reading about phone networks.

    Now *censored* off.

    [Editor’s note: Some elements of this post removed for profanity reasons]

  31. Hey John it’s no wonder you went broke who would want to do business with a person with your attitude.

    • Sydney, you twerp, I haven’t gone broke, just missed a lot of customers through missed calls that don’t even ring and I don’t get a SMS about until I’ve missed 5 other calls, and I get them all at once.

      I am a lot nicer to my customers than I am to twats blogging about their superiority, and also to idiots who think I give a toss about their take on my opinion. You can *censored* off too.

  32. I agree with EVERYTHING you say. Yep! Brilliant stuff.

    I tried to call you Mr.LeMay to celebrate your fine article but my phone dropped out of signal, it’s on vodafone, it doesn’t have good coverage.

  33. Clearly you aren’t a customer.

    Yes, I shoudl vote with my feet.I Know the coverage is not what telstra’s is.

    I’m actually not whining on the Internet because I wholesale via thrid party so Voda wouldn’t care what I say :)

    But I can see what their customers are complaining about. It’s not that the network isn’t big enough; it’s nto that it’s overloaded… It’s just plain broken in places. I can take a train from perth City to northern suburbs, I pass through two areas where the Signal is great, and the data is just DEAD. It’s not slow, it’s non existant.

    I didn’t believe it until my freind, who lives in one of these holes, signed up for Mobile BB with a mifi hotspot device; works in the Voda shop, but when she goes home, she has 4 bars of HSDPA and no bandwidth, 24/7. Voda deserve the flogging they are getting, because these blackspots (which are inside their coverage footprint) are ignored – they just refund the customer and continue to sell to the next sucker.

  34. Everybody who joined the class action gave up their option to go to have the TIO involved.

    I wonder if they know they have done that ?

  35. I see nothing wrong with litigation when a service offered in a contractual arrangement is not provided.

    I am with vodafone and for the most part I am happy with them. That said, it is definately not a world class service. Reception is ok, but the Data services at times can be unbearably slow. I have 2 gig of data on my phone and there is no way I could possibly use it.

    Vodafone have been… cunning for a lack of a better word, and have never promised at what speed the data will be delivered at, however, it is meant to be offered as mobile broadband. This is not the case in my experience as depending on the reception i have, my download speeds are as low as 10kB a second.

    I dont like the glitz and glam of this whole class action and I do agree that this aspect is far too amercaniZed. However as all the telco’s are like starved dogs with a bone when it comes to releasing people from their contracts, why shouldn’t the court system be utilised if enough people are unsatisfied? It is obvious that the TiO is not enough of a threat as the argument is perhaps a bit vague, in these murkier waters, it is only the courts who can resolve the issue.

  36. Renai. Just to correct a couple of minor over sights:
    1. Telstra (refraining to type Tel$tra here) is not $10 more expensive. You know yourself that free Voda to Voda calling is worth a heck of a lot more than that, and then you can throw in unlimited text and even unlimited calling on higher end plans. Telstra would never cannibalize their fixed network like that.
    2. Telstra has customer service that is getting worse, and getting cheaper by the day. The once great “bastion” of the onshore call centre is now more quickly selling off jobs to shoddy overseas outsource companies than they can count the billions of dollars of profit they make off of all Australians. Take it from someone who knows the industry (both Telco and Outsourcing) far too well, that this is a short road to hell for customers and shareholders.

    Finally, whilst Telstra is “pushing towards” the heady heights of 42Mbps, you may want to check out Vodafone in NZ who also already run a dual-carrier HSDPA+ network in selected sites. And if you choose to ignore that Verizon (45% Vodafone) have already deployed a full LTE (4G) network in the US, you may be guilty of writing off Vodafone (the world’s largest mobile telco BTW) a little prematurely. But I admit the proof will be in the pudding…

    • Finally, whilst Telstra is “pushing towards” the heady heights of 42Mbps, that is a joke hell not even 1 user on 1 tower could just barely get half that speed,
      The reality is much lower once a tower is in full use, Not only that vodafones CS is still way better then telstra’s.

      • Telstra so-called “double speed” modems are in fact very cleverly named. They use two channels to the tower simultaneously, so if everyone used them, you effectively HALVE the capacity of the tower.

        Telstra spin.

    • LTE is not 4G…the ratified 4G spec calls for 100Mbps download while mobile, and 1Gbps while in a fixed location. Verizon’s LTE offering “promises” 10 to 15Mbps peak speeds.

      • Tell that to T-Mobile in the US, who now have the cheek of calling HSPA+ 4G!

        Unfortunately the term is taking on a new meaning in the states, which seems to be “anything faster than first generation 3G”

        Going by that logic of course, we’ve had 4G with Telstra’s network for years! :)

  37. Just to clarify Australia had more than ONE service provider for the iPhone due to our anti-competition laws. It’s one of the main reasons why Australia never got the iPhone 2G, Apple was trying to find was around allowing more than one service provider to use the iPhone.

    Vodafone does suck but it’s only been since 2009 that I believe it went downhill. Telstra on the other hand, is way more than $10 more per month, plus they have only jst brought in the Caps, along with their atrocious cstomer service I never wanted to be with them. Only in the last few months have I wanted to. I would prefer to go to Optus or one of the smaller ones first though.

  38. Are you serious?
    If you buy a $4000 LCD tv from Jb hi fi, and it has a dead pixel, do you take it back and expect it to be replaced or your money refunded???
    Hell, if you buy $200 LCD tv from Coles and it has a dead pixel you’d take it back for a mo questions asked refund!!.

    Why is vodaphone allowed off the hook?????
    Maybe if they provided some reasonable customer service in the first place there would be no need for something as drastic as a class action.
    Big business needs to be shown we won’t put up with being ripped off… Especially in an industry where it’s becoming common place. Otherwise we may as well be in America.

    • That is the crux of the matter. People need to stop adopting this ridiculous attitude of “she’ll be right” in Australia. It is because of this that our general levels of service have become so attrocious in this country. People also need to step up and provide decent service. Dare I say everyone here provides some form of service to a paying customer. It works both ways.

      • Nope I dont, thing is the big 3 are all just as bad as each other, VF is just the better one of a bad bunch. ;)

  39. 1. This must be the most commented upon story ever ;-)

    2. My wife is on Vodafone with an ordinary mobile phone. Not a computer. No data usage. Has no problems.

    3. Was great on holidays in NZ. Found more bars on iPhone than ever before. Using Vodafone of course.

    4. Optus is worse from my experience. I have to reset the network settings after every work day. As advised by iPhone support. My office is near a “blackspot” tower.

    5. Telstra billing scares me. If that was fixed I’d be there.

  40. This has been pretty funny- because in Sydney at least, Optus is way worse- data doesn’t work more often then it does with Optus.

    Still, Telstra must be loving it.

  41. Leave Vodafone’s donkey out of this!

    (dumping their ARSE, on the other hand, I would support…)

  42. Sorry Renai, but your perspective is a bit skewed. Sure, we all have choice in business, but the idea of having a successful business is to not throw money out of the window…we tend to like to keep it.

    Those of us who signed up prior to the network problems being common knowledge (and a single article here or there does not exactly constitute it being common knowledge) have been locked into contracts where there are penalties for release. So, the choice comes down to do you pay the penalty and take the loss or do you fight it.

    If you take the loss, you are an idiot who doesn’t know the value of money.

    If you fight, and this is where your perspective is totally out of whack, you are very australian. You don’t take no for an answer and you fight and keep fighting when you know you are right. I fail to see how this can be mistaken for whinging.

    I do see, however, some very unaustralian perspectives in your article. You seem to take joy in kicking people when they are down.

  43. Daniel I don’t know what experience you have had but believe me they might both suck but Telstra in the nicest possible way.

  44. Yes you would Sydney ;)

    We know your love for Telstra is over the moon to say the least (like a cheer leader).

    Telstra sucks probably the lightest word I could say about them(without swearing on this site), especially my experience (and probably alot of others).

  45. Daniel you identify, and are critical of my slight favourable references to Telstra. If you are fair and honest you will admit that your obvious unfounded hatred of Telstra is so over the top as to be rejected by any reasonably balanced person. From my observations most who demonise Telstra are opponents who hope for a financial gain if Telstra is damaged by their outrageous vilification.

    • Sydney.. “slight favourable references to Telstra” you say…LOL.

      New blog, another desperate attempt to qualify your comments as anything other than those of a Telstra puppet/stakeholder.

      For the record –

      * You are an active Telstra supporter.

      * You were the #2 poster (only behind V*ss*) on NWAT, and you both “ALWAYS” supported Telstra.

      * You were interviewed (twice?) by Telstra/NWAT, proving that you have behind the scenes contact with their PR dept. of course giving Telstra a glowing report.

      * You are a Telstra shareholder (with some 70 000 TLS shares, according to one of the above NWAT interviews – so it’s no secret). Although you denied for years that you or the good Mrs even had 1 TLS share (even though you told us you attended AGMs and there were pics, of you attending AGMs).

      * You still (as here) frequent blogs and forums “ALWAYS” supporting Telstra.

      * You disgracefully likened Telstra’s struggle against the “leeches” as you called them (accessing competitors, legally accessing the PSTN, which was part of the rules for Telstra being vested the multi $b$ network) to the ANZACS..

      * Disgracefully likened your self (with people like me highlighting your “greedy Telstra agenda”) to Jesus and his persecution

      * You say God Bless Telstra…

      * You frequently described anyone who disagrees with your Telstra greed (again as you did above – yawn) as people who… “demonise Telstra are opponents who hope for a financial gain if Telstra is damaged by their outrageous vilification.

      Hypocrite – it is you who is the ultimate demoniser – you bag Vodafone, when you surely, have nothing to even do with them – and claim Telstra perfection, for one reason and one reason only…

      “Your own financial gain, relating to your TLS shares…!

      So please Sydney, before you tell more blatant, Telstra share driven BS, don’t start the “slight favouritism”, excuse, as your favouritism is complete, perpetually incessant/24/7.You disgracefully continue to hide the fact and even continue to make quotes as factual, which have been totally disproven, simply to try to breathe life into that rotting TLS portfolio corpse…!

  46. There is total failure of Vodafone system in Brisbane in the critical flood area.

  47. Having worked in the industry for over 7 years and working for all the top four players (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Three) I have to disagree with this article on a few points.

    I understand that a lot of customers are trying to milk their cancellation charges and waive their outstanding balances. However, dealing with clients on a day to day basis that run fleets of mobile services, I can completely understand the class action.

    Everyone knows that Vodafones network lags behind Telstra and Optus but the recent outages and congestion issues are not related to the standard of service that Voda has offered for the past 10 years.

    I have my personal number with Voda and have experienced the changes first hand after having been with them for 4 years. This has frustrated me as a personal user, imagine a company running a fleet of 30 users that have used Voda for many years. One of my old Voda clients relied on all facets of the Voda network which worked fine up until a few months ago. Voice calls drop out, don’t even connect, GPS navigation won’t connect, mobile emails not coming through, no access to to internet. This can impact on a business tremendously and recovering the cancellations and outstandings often isn’t enough compared to the amount of business that would have been lost due to the network failure. Vodafone provides coverage maps for where consumers can and cannot recieve coverage, major metro areas are all covered and this is where people are getting hit. Vodafones negligence is the issue and the consumers have the full right to services they were promised when the contract was signed. They spend all this money on marketing the services, sucking the customers in and not delivering their promise. It is “FALSE ADVERTISING” regardless of the intention.

    Comparing us with the yanks is a low blow I think.

  48. I being Three customer and fairly happy with the phone service believe I was conned by the 3/ Vodaphone rep when I went to upgrade 2 out of contract phones on the same account (4 phones total) in December. I signed up to vodaphone because It offered better value than the Three alternatives.

    1. I was told that 3/Vodaphone were the same company now. May be true
    2. I would continue to receive one account – false
    3. When it became apparent that the Vodaphone phone would not roam on Telstra network (the Three phones did) I asked the rep to show me the coverage maps of 3 specific locations I would be using the phones often. He showed me that the coverage was fine in those locations – the reality is that the network coverage in those 3 areas was crap.
    4. I was told I could still talk vodaphone to 3 freeof charge – true but now the 3 phones get charged for call to the Vodaphone mobiles.
    5. I would get an impressive 2Gig data allowance – Fantastic but they didn’t tell me it would be agonizingly slooooooow.

    Since I’ve had these piecesofshit I have had little to no reception where I want to use them. Data on network even with good reception is crap and not worth using. The phone has frequently dissapeared off network but still showing reception so giving no indication that I am uncontactable or cannot make calls. Dropouts are virtually expected each call and texts appear when they want up to 2 days later.

    So what the f… am I suposed to tell the “customer service” person after I wait for an hour or so. I’m gona want to kill them but I don’t even know them nor are they responsible.

    I think bring it on if Vodaphone and its represenatives want to con people they should expect to pay dearly

  49. i think you have been misinformed mate. ive had problems with vodafone since i 1st signed up to their 2yr mobile broadband contract. at the time i signed up i was told by thier staff that the network was very good in my area and their coverage map confirmed it. but the reality of it was their network was, at best piss poor. constant cut outs and problems. when i complained to them and asked to get out of the contract i was told i would have to pay the contract out IN FULL $1198!! but to where to go if i do pay it out??? i have an optus mobile which is also piss poor. as for telstras next g the coverage is just as piss poor. im 15mins from the bris cbd and my room mates next g cuts in and out just as bad as the vodafone network. so whats the solution?? when hard line internet isnt an option ur screwed wherever you go.

  50. I remember when Vodafail 1st startedin Aust, ( i work in the Telco industry) I knew one person on Vodafail, I used their mobile to make a call (we were with optus at the time) I was truely amazed at the speed this call found the cell and started to ring, it was like a copper line call!!…I though WOW!!..this kills Optus & Telstra Mobilenet…..that was approx 1994/95 (?)…I would bet my balls that they still have the same number of towers today that they had back then, I am with 3 mobile (last 10yrs) and am really dreading March 2011 coming when all 3 customers will be MADE join Vodafail….!!….I hate Hellstra and Optus are a joke…Oz really needs a Verizon or Nextel to come in here and show these slobs how to compete for market share and customer service….until then we are ALL screwed!! eg Fiji pays 9c for a txt, Bali 12c a call..why is Oz so dear???

  51. 1.Most people blinkered to the bigger picture don’t realise that no where on your contract with any telco does it guarantee coverage or 100% access to services.

    2.Don’t commit. Exercise some personal responsibility and pay for your luxuries. Yes a mobile phone is a luxury item only your home phone that you disconnected had a service guarantee placed on it in an ACT.

    3.The commitment period is because you got a free or heavily discounted handset. It really is free or discounted but your end of the bargain is to maintain a monthly payment. Mobile service is a chuck in on most plans with virtual credit far in excess of the monthly fee paid to the extent now that with infinite calling plans there is no such thing as a call rate just the cheapest price you can use your phone as much as you like for.

    4. Some are confusing congestion issues with where the network has always been. Anecdotal evidence is always best and I encourage anyone changing carriers to invite friends around for a cup of tea that already have the network you want to change to.

    5. Some people have switched carriers at the same time as getting new handsets too. Could it be that your old handset was contributing to the lack of performance. Wrong freq, aged technology etc.

    Just Sayin

  52. Ration-al you make good points but in the end it is a fact that you can’t justify the indefensible.

    People expect, and demand a reasonable level of service and if the service provided falls below that level complaints will follow. One area of the industry that should be improved is the complicated and mind boggling number of contractual schemes on offer to the public. It is impossible for those not schooled in contract law to understand their obligations and rights with these contracts.

    • Got that right about the Telco’s Mobile contracts, and the worst offender for that is Telstra, with Optus a close 2nd.

  53. Gday Sydney!

    Yeah you’re right.

    I’m just trying to stay on theme and reinforce the personal responsibility aspect of all this. I had a woman recently say to me ‘It’s a mobile phone, it’s supposed to work every where!’

    Unrealistic expectations are hugely to blame too.

    I don’t know about the contract side being difficult with so many out there. I still think some basic rules of thumb could be used by people not sure what to do.

    Such as don’t ever commit long term with any network, read your collateral, seek anecdotes from friends or resident teenagers…

  54. RS you continue your tirade against any person who do not totally agree with your point of view.

    Like you, and as every person should, I do have my own opinions and in our free and democratic society are thankful to be able to express them. Your diabolical hatred of Telstra is, as others who participate in correspondence on special forums, would well know.

    Oh incidentally RS did you notice that I called for the resignation of the entire Telstra Board at the last AGM if they did not improve Telstra customer services.

  55. Blah, blah, blah…Sydney lala…!

    I am not the issue, the issue is you and your Telstra lies… you “slightly favour God Bless the Telstra ANZACS do you Jesus [sic]”…?

    Yes you do have your opinions and are free to convey them. But when you under-handely, considering your undeniable close associations/financial stake of Telstra and bias thereof, claim to be conveying them purely as a concerned citizen, with only “slight favouritism”…well…!!!

    Anyway, how can you possibly complain about anyone questioning your opinions, when as soon as someone says anything negative about your precious Telstra, you disgracefully accuse them of being demonising opponents…hypocrite!

    So let me throw your comment right back at you … “Sydney, you continue your tirade against any person who does not totally agree with your (greedy Telstra) point of view”.

    You are not the only one allowed to convey an opinion you know and it’s even more hypocritical for a person as attached to Telstra as you are, to accuse anyone of commenting in relation to their finances.

    Again the blithering words of a hypocrite!

    And you called for the resignation of the entire Telstra board?

    A board who is genuinely trying to improve Telstra’s position and relations with the government, ACCC, customers and therefore Australians… and you want them gone, whilst you forever heaped praise on Sol…?

    Says it all about you and your backwards ways, imo, Sydney…!

      • Interesting that you would “take sides” and give a one way warning, Renai!

        And… I thought we were at Delimeter not NWAT…

  56. RS I do sincerely hope you were not deeply offended by my recent comment. My desire and intention was to explain ,and answer, your latest attack on me which was over the top and without foundation.

    As an Australian I am interested in the well being of Australian industry and Australian companies. Telstra, as you would know being a shareholder yourself, has been, is, and will remain one of Australia’s greatest companies. Telstra employs 34 thousand Australians and is owned by one million four hundred thousand Australians.

    My comments have always reflected my beliefs and my policy is certainly not ‘mother drunk or sober’. My call for serious action regarding customer service at the AGM was expertly answered by Chair Catherine Livingstone and CEO David Thodey who agreed that improvements must, and would be made in the customer service division. The call for resignation was for dramatic effect.

    • Sydney, deeply offended?

      Yes, I was (yawn). Offended that you still continue pushing your demonising of all that is NOT Telstra, for your own financial gain…!

      However, mine was not an “attack” on you, but rather a cleansing for you, as you again try to dishonestly, hide your close association with, your financial attachment to and subsequent blind bias towards… Telstra!

      You say you support Australian industry and Australian companies? But I note with interest that you “do not” support other Australian companies with the same vigour that you do Telstra. In fact, in 5 years of reading your repeated Telstra drivel, I can’t readily recall you ever saying a nice word about any other Aussie company, particularly a comms company/ISP. Although I have seen you refer to Aussie companies in comms, who are acting within the legal access laws, as “leeches”! So as one, who claims to support Aussie companies, why is this? No need to answer – rhetorical… we all, already know the answer!

      But why didn’t you call for the resignation of Sol and his board previously? Unlike the latest board that have goals and visions, they did not. They had one visionless mission; force the ACCC into increasing ULL/LSS fees for competitors (which would have been passed onto us…the consumers) for the quick buck, then take off back to the US, without having actually “achieved anything! They were the ones you should have had in your sights!

      But it is good to see that you have confessed, that your bias towards Telstra is “much more than slight”, after all.

      FYI: I again sold out of TLS just last Friday, having bought one parcel @ $2.78 and another equal parcel @ $2.65 (averaging @ $2.715) over the last 6 weeks or so. On top of my last 7.5% increase which you will remember me telling you about, I was happy with my latest 6% increase (nothing special but ok).

      I think the trick is NOT to be greedy, unlike those who bought T1 at $3.30 and didn’t sell any 2 years later when they were $9+ (because they wanted “more” and still have the hide to blame others)! Bu if TLS continue to rise, good for them, because again, I was happy with my return over such a short period.

      Juicily ironic however, me making money on the company you swear by but are losing a motza on…!

      Also you will note, even when I do own TLS shares (being an on/off, TLS shareholder) it didn’t/doesn’t change me into greedy, lying Telstra minion, like some, who believe comms should revolve around their portfolio’s!

    • PS. Sydney…I’m glad I sold, as they are down 2.5% since, last Friday…

      Gee if they fall some more, I might even buy again and may even get in on the next div…LOL!

  57. This is actually a plus for vodafone in their customer support, I have a quite old sim and it needed updating.
    VF support handled it great, me being out in a rural area and nowhere near a VF store.
    And yes the service does work here, and it is actually good on my new huwei U8150 android phone.
    The itself is a bargain @$149 and works well here. Best phone I have had yet.

  58. Yes RS I totally agree it is most disappointing to see a great Australian company wallowing when (today)the market did so well. As you would know the Future Fund is barreling millions of TS onto the market each day and driving the price down. FF holding down to 8.87% now and don’t know when they will stop their selling. Also the absolute uncertainty of the Telstra/NBNCo deal is very destabilizing. Still there is always light at the end of the tunnel (as long as it is not a train coming the other way) and the sun will still come up tomorrow and the world will still turn.

    • Yes Sydney in all seriousness, Telstra should be a blue chip investment…

      Sadly in my opinion, although not in Australia’s interest per se` and without harping, had the previous Telstra management not been so hellbent in simply wanting to up the ULL/LSS fees (and ****ed everyone off in the process) and just done a deal to build FTTN, letting OPEL build Wi-MAX in the harsher, unprofitable areas, TLS probably would again be a blue chip stock!

      IMHO, the current NBN is streets ahead of FTTN/OPEL and we are heading in the right direction. As such, if I were you, I’d have more faith in the current management team than the last, stick by them and TLS shares will again, head north…!

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