Does Vodafone’s Apology Go Far Enough?

Does Vodafone’s Apology Go Far Enough?

With the crescendo of complaints about its service reaching deafening levels, Vodafone has issued a public apology to its customers and promised network improvements. Will that be enough to salvage its reputation?

In the apology, which you can see in full at the link below, CEO Nigel Dews says a combination of equipment faults and rapid data growth have led to Vodafone’s network not performing up to scratch. Improvements are said to be coming, and Vodafone has also hired 300 additional customer service reps.

One interesting minor revelation in the announcement: Vodafone is now offering 24 month warranties on contract iPhones, aligning it with Optus and ending a previous warranty anomaly. But does all this news and contrition make you feel better about Vodafone? Tell us in the comments.



  • VHA lost sight of the customer experience.
    The customer has now lost sight of Vodafone. meh.

    When 3 “merged” with Vodafone, CEO Nigel Dews stated he wanted to be the no. 2 mobile telco.
    How’s that looking now?

  • The apology won’t mean diddly until we see genuine network improvements rolled out, and sales exaggerations of their network stopped. Their coverage chart shows my home as being on the edge of full 3G coverage, but I’ll be damned if I can even get voice or text coverage without walking into the middle of the street.

    • I live in Sydney CBD, work in the CBD and all of my clients, and GF are impossible to get hold of even in the middle of the street. I miss sales, calls, voicemails and 3G coverage is the worst (not that bad because i don’t mind not getting email). There is only so much one can take, i had a 3G broadband stick which in my apartment was running less than dial-up speeds. I don’t want this to turn into a hate forum, i think they are a fantastic company, they do deliver products for people who do want to save money. But i fear they are possibly passing that point of making money to build new infrastructure as well as support the gear they have now.

    • I recently got out of my contract 13 months early because of my poor network coverage at my workplace. I had to call several times, but in the end I only had to pay out the cost of my phone, not the normal exit fees.

      Not sure whether this will work for you, but it may be worth a try. I’m now with Optus maying slightly more per month, but my coverage is far better (and I have a shiny new Dell Streak to play with).

      The coverage was the main reason for my change, but the sharp decline in customer service and the recent privacy issues also played a part.

  • I used to be with 3 before the merge and I couldn’t get coverage in my house (I was on the edge of their stated 3G coverage zone). Coverage was intermittent closer and inside the Melbourne CBD, so I got out of my contract after just 5 months.

    I moved to Vodafone because I was happy with 3’s customer service, I just wasn’t getting coverage. Since switching I’ve never been without coverage and I have 3G almost all of the time. I experience good data speed (it could be better).

    Maybe I’m just lucky, I’m not experiencing whatever is causing such a fuss.

    • I’m on Optus, voice coverage is great! Data coverage is crap, full reception, zero data throughput. I’m picking up a telstra prepaid sim this week, if it works out I’ll be switching for good.

      I use friends telstra android devices (I have a galaxy s) when mine has full signal and no connection. I pick up their device and an connected to the straight away….

      Optus sucks, not as bad as Vodafone though, I had a data only service with them that became unusable last year..

  • my complaint is that vodafone keeps dropping calls between me and a friend that is also on vodafone. When i call back, no one had lost signal, just we got disconnected.
    Vodafone, you really need to try and remove the failure associated with your name right now.

  • I only went with vodaphone after checking their coverage maps to ensure that 3g was covered comprehensively in Brisbane and Toowoomba, as well as on the road between. I live in central Brisbane and my data speeds are equivalent to a dialup connection. I cannot place calls without them dropping out intermittently between here and Toowoomba. I cannot place calls while inside my folks home in Toowoomba. I cannot use the internet where I work in the city. It takes longer to load the translink website than it does for me to walk to the station and check the timetables. I spent 10 minutes trying to make a single transfer via internet banking today before i just decided to find an ATM. Their maps state that broadband coverage exists in all the areas I go. I experience 3g speeds perhaps 10-20% of the time I spend trying to access the net on my phone. My phone has been replaced once under warranty for a faulty screen and the speed for both devices has been the same.

    Vodaphone’s network map:

    Vodaphone’s apology doesn’t mean anything to me because if they had told me the truth about their lack of stable coverage, I would never for a second have considered signing a two year phone contract with them. Deceptive company and useless network. I’m thankful that I don’t rely on my phone.

  • vodafone were great up until late 2010 when three merged in. Since then I was getting 3G timeouts in the middle of Brisbane with full reception bars. I lodged a complaint with the TIO and got out of the last 7 months of my contract for free.

    I’m now waiting it out on Telstra prepaid until iPhone 5 and will reassess the contract market then. Until then I’ve been enjoying great data speeds and coverage and standard crappy Telstra customer service.

    Pull your finger out quick VHA you’ve already slipped to a distant 3rd.

  • I too work in the CBD and constantly I get messages of missed calls . I still can’t work out when did the phone ring?!!! Or even stranger is the fact that when I call people my phone just rings and rings but out but never connects to the other phone. I’m on an unlimited plan but really who cares when you can’t make or receive calls.


    3 is trying to stuff up the merger so they can walk on the deal??!

  • Most of the problems described here I am now seeing with Optus/Virgin now. I guess all those that got out of Voda moved to Optus/Virgin and noe their network cant cope.

    Another class action comming perhaps?

  • I’ve been with 3 for 7 years now. Before the merger their customer service wasn’t great, but at least you would get somewhere eventually. Since the merger, however, their service has become abysmal.

    A few months ago, they disabled my account. I paid the bill 1 day late, yet they disabled the account about a week after I paid. They tried to say that it was because I paid it late that it was disabled. What kind of system disables an account AFTER they paid? Oh, and I had to pay the $35 reconnection fee – which I NEVER agreed to in my contract.

    Not to mention various network issues, which they would never admit their fault in. And taking up to an hour to even answer the phone.

    As soon as my contract is up, I’m moving my mobile service to iiNet.

  • From personal knowledge, I can comfortably say that VHA Australia are doing everything possible to rectify this horrible oversight which saw their network fail, and subsequently call center die almost simultaneously.

    VHA are pushing to upgrade their existing towers through scrapping Nokia and changing their hardware base completely.

    With over $500B being spent in Victoria alone, VHA are trying desperately to get things on track. With new 850 Spectrum towers being launched every-month, and upgrades being completed on a record basis, VHA wont go down without a fight.

  • Ahh, all much clearer. Been tolerating poor to non existent mobile broadband coverage for last 3-4 months. First 12 months it was quite OK sometimes amazing. Now it is just crap. I can drive 20 klm to and grab software discs from storage quicker than I can connect to companies website.

    So dear VHA f!!! you and the network you rode in on, I would not piss on you if you were on fire.

    Well done on overselling capacity and underdelivering.

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