Besieged Vodafone will offer its customers free SMS messages for 12 hours on Sunday 1 May after a "technical fault" prevented users from sending and receiving text messages on Easter Sunday.
The "free SMS day" applies to all Vodafone customers on Sunday 1 May — though the offer is not for a full day and only runs from 8:00am until 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
Vodafone was forced to apologise after its customers were unable to send and receive messages between 2.30pm and 9.15pm on Sunday 24 April due to a "technical fault".
"We apologise for the technical fault that occurred yesterday and resulted in many customers experiencing difficulties in sending and receiving text messages," said Vodafone spokesperson Cormac Hodgkinson in a blog post. "We know how important it is for you to remain in touch with your family and friends, so we will be offering a free SMS day to all Vodafone customers on Sunday, 1st May (8am-8.00pm AEST)."
A number of comments on the blog post were less than favourable towards the network, which has been dogged by infrastructure and poor service issues over the past few months. As an example, the free SMS offer is of no benefit to those on Vodafone plans with unlimited free SMS included.
"What good is paying for a service that never seems to be available. I want out of my contract now. I don't understand how you can charge customers for a service you aren't providing!"
"Calling it a free sms Day is a bit rich for 12 hours, as is 12 hours as compensation for 7 hours of no service."
"What about those people like myself who already have unlimited free SMS included in our plan? I gotta say this is a bit of a joke…You could just fix all the towers and give us some half decent reception."
"This is stupid, I'm on an unlimited plan. May as well offer free air for next Sunday."
Last year, the Vodafail Website was established to air concerns with poor network performance and coverage, while issues with the telco inspired a YouTube parody video last week called Vodafail: The Musical.