Vodafone - statements, contract changes and statistics
We've already posted extensively on Vodafone today, but here's the official response to our earlier unanswered questions, and a couple of others we asked for clarification on. They have been answered by Jakub Hrabovsky, Head of Web Relations.
BW: Will there be a change to standard terms from 1 June?
JH: Yes, there will be minor changes; in particular in the price plan documentation outlining the process of notifying customers before they incur out of bundle charges
We'll have to wait until Vodafone issues official confirmation of this, but as we've pointed out on numerous occasions, any modification of the terms requires 30 days notice, not 14.
BW: When quoting the 97% figure, are you referring to data allowances of 500MB only, or all data allowances of all sizes that are available?
JH: I think I’m repeating myself here when I say that it’s for all our mobile internet bundle subscribers. So yes, all data allowances.
This is a bizarre admission. Throughout the week, Vodafone has told customers they are worrying unnecessarily about the new data charges, because 97% of customers with a 500MB monthly allowance never reach it, leaving just 3% that use more than their 500MB allowance:
In our earlier dialogue with Jakub and elsewhere on their forums, this statistic has been repeated in the context of 500MB data allowances. But if it includes all data allowances, the statistic is both meaningless and misleading, because it includes customers with far higher data allowances who are far less likely to exceed their allowance.
It's impossible to determine how many customers with a 500MB monthly allowance are in danger of exceeding it. The point of asking the question was to allow Vodafone to help themselves and remove any ambiguity; they haven't done that at all.
BW: When describing mobile data allowances in the past, Vodafone has described them as "unlimited, subject to FUP". It's clear that Vodafone are imposing hard limits on data usage now (which will incur charges if breached more than twice) - what would you say to customers who feel they've been misled by claims of unlimited data?
JH: Vodafone’s always referred to unlimited as subject to FUP as you say and we’ve always said that customers will be charged for out of bundle usage. However, when we sell our handsets (like the HTC Desire) we’re not selling those on unlimited plans. The reason for this is that we believe that it’s only fair to our customers.
As far as we're aware, the term unlimited was only removed from the tariffs on the Vodafone website in the past week.
We'd love to know what you make of all of this. If you receive any formal notification from Vodafone concerning the changes, please send it to us at [email protected], and we'll come back to you after the weekend.