Vodafone handset 'feature' charges contract customers for SMS
Where to start with this one. Well, it's Vodafone, so we didn't bat an eyelid; they really can't help themselves when it comes to helping themselves - to the detriment of their customers. Surely they can't screw up again so soon after the last time?
Yes, yes they can.
What is it now? It appears that Vodafone have found a way to charge customers for sending texts - even if those customers have a contract with inclusive and unlimited texts. How are they getting away with it? In the words of avid Bitterwallet reader Chris:
I took out a new contract with Vodafone (unlimited texts, 300 mins, £25 pm) and noticed that I was being charged for MMS messages that I didn't send - and on the bill they were marked as 'Long text'.
After a bit of digging and querying, I found out that the Nokia N97mini that I had got as part of the contract treated messages over 160 characters as MMS. All my other phones simply took the text message and split it into two or more parts, than stuck them back together at the other end - so counted as a series of SMS messages, which form part of the contract.
The contract does state that long texts will be charged for - but doesn't explain what that means. I get charged 15p (inc VAT) for each one - not a great deal but, if you didn't check, it could mount up if across all of their users.
Chris tackled Vodafone's customer services on Twitter, who told him it was nothing to do with them:
Ah yes, one of those 'features' that can't be turned off and has no discernible benefit to the end user. Regardless, Vodafone's explanation doesn't quite ring true, because it isn't a feature of the handset as far as the manufacturer is concerned; Chris took his complaint to Nokia, who told him the phone has been set by Vodafone to count longer texts as MMS messages.
Somebody appears to be lying to their customer - either the manufacturer or the service provider - while Vodafone are raking in the cash for a service the majorty of users might assume is bundled into their contract. Which, if we're honest about it, it is.