Vodafone has denied that any customers have been sold an iPhone and told they can use general cap credits for data — a stance which contradicts comments heard from many iPhone buyers and Lifehacker readers. Why won't Vodafone acknowledge the confusion over its plans, and what will it do for customers who have signed up on the basis of a contract which it seems Vodafone doesn't want to honour? See after the jump for the full story.
As we've noted in earlier posts, Vodafone's terms and conditions appear to allow the possibility of using the monthly iPhone call cap fee to pay for data as well as voice and SMS, thereby making it possible to browse more freely without incurring excess data charges. Several people have signed up for such plans after being told by Vodafone store staff that this was possible. Lifehacker reader Michael reported a typical experience in this regard:
I was pleasantly surprised to be told that it was 12 cents per MB AND that any excess data charge is offset as part of the monthly Cap credit. I was initially sceptical, and asked the sales person why this vital piece of information hadn't been communicated more clearly by the Vodafone Marketing team and was told that it was probably because everything had been so rushed and that everything was in a shambles. On the basis of what was communicated to me about the excess data pricing, I signed-up to the $69 iPhone plan on the spot. I'm certainly not going to be happy if this isn't the case...
Vodafone's official stance is that this approach isn't possible, and that any data used outside of the stated allowance for each plan will be charged at excess rates of 12 cents per megabyte. Following Vodafone's statement to this effect, we asked Vodafone head of corporate communications Greg Spears what it would do for customers who had been sold the service in this way, and received a rather starling reply:
I'm not aware of any customers that have 'been told by sales associates that they can charge data against their cap dollars'. As I've pointed out previously, this is simply not the case - but if you'd like to provide more exact details of where this information came from - i.e which stores, we would be happy to follow up to ensure that the correct information is being communicated to customers.
Spears also flatly denied that any element of the company's terms and conditions suggested such a deal was possible. We've sent him the relevant paragraphs and links to jog his memory; we'll let you know when and if he responds. In the meantime, we'll note that anyone who did sign up for a plan like this and wants to pull out would probably be entitled to pull out under contract cooling off legislation, though details vary from state to state. If you try this, share your experiences in the comments.