Under fire Vodafone addresses customers

Vodafone Australia apologises to customers and admits its network 'could have been better supported by earlier coverage and capacity upgrades'

Under fire Vodafone has apologised to customers following months of poor service

Under fire Vodafone has apologised to customers following months of poor service

Vodafone Australia today wrote to its customers to share plans about its network performance and improvements to customer service, in a bid to repair its image following a tumultuous few months.

Are you stuck in a two-year mobile phone contract and desperately want to break it? We show you how to get out of your mobile phone contract.

Vodafone has suffered from various network issues in Australia in recent months, ranging from dropouts, delays and coverage black spots. Delayed SMS messages and voicemails, data problems and, in many cases a complete lack of coverage for extended periods at a time, have resulted in a class action lawsuit being considered against the company.

In a statement released today, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) CEO, Nigel Dews, outlines the status of a number of network upgrades, including the investment and future deployment of "4G" technology, Long Term Evolution (LTE).

"We want our customers to be happy with the network, service and value they receive from us. We've been working hard to improve our network and service but still have work to do. We have a very clear picture of what needs to be done and it’s already well underway. Our plans have been accelerated and we have the teams and resources in place and the right focus to deliver for our customers," he said.

While stressing that "technical faults" complicated planned network improvements in the past, Vodafone admitted fault by saying its network "could have been better supported by earlier coverage and capacity upgrades." The company is continuing to "work through rapidly injecting more capacity and coverage into the network as well as rolling out our new network and upgrades." It has also appointed Barry Kezik as general manager for network performance, with responsibility for ensuring voice and data services "perform at their highest level."

Communications body Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) commended Nigel Dews for the letter of apology to the company's customers.

"We've been communicating with Vodafone since we became aware of the issues in October and advised them to start writing directly with their customers about it," said ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin in a statement. "As we've said before, customers will understand if there are network issues from time to time but you have to be upfront and fair about it by letting your customers know what is going on."

"We know many customers have exited their contracts already but we're pleased Dews is now writing to customers directly. Many customers have already been compensated by having bills waived or by some other arrangement and Vodafone, while slow to respond to the problems initially, has made an effort to make up for them since."

Other initiatives outlined by Dews in the Vodafone customer letter include a $1 billion investment until the end of 2011 in the current network, a new 850MHz 3G network (with 2500 sites being built or upgraded), the replacement of equipment in 8000 radio access network sites, the trial and future rollout of LTE network and devices, and 300 additional customer service staff.

VHA has also made significant upgrades to the Vodafone Web site that include a new section on network and service information, the ability to search via postcode for detailed area network status (including outages or congested sites), new coverage maps, and a new online forum. A call-back option has also been introduced so customers don't have to wait on hold during peak times.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Vodafonemobile phonesVodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)mobile networksNigel Dewsmobile network traffic

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?