Following Vodafone's hugely controversial decision (we're approaching the 50 comment mark) to scrap its fair usage policy, the operator has gone on record to say it will drop all reference to 'unlimited' bundles and offer adversely affected customers a way out of their contracts.
Speaking to TechRadar Vodafone head of web relations Jakub Hrabovsky said: "We're cleaning up all our communication around 'unlimited' and you will see the word disappearing gradually from all touch points as we feel that this is only fair to our customers. The most important thing for our customers is to know that they can get online on the go, they know what they pay for and how much."
As for customers who are perturbed at Vodafone's new terms 500MB monthly data limit (it remains 1GB for iPhone and Nexus One owners) the operator has offered the following olive branch:
"You'll be entitled to end your contract if you can show that the introduction of the new charges has increased your total call and usage charges by more than 10%. This needs to be compared to the same amount of usage in the previous month. You must also write to us within the 14 day window indicating that you want to end your contract."
While the 14 day deadline is tight, it seems fair allowing compulsive Spotify, Last.fm and other heavy data users to opt out of what they may have believed to be an 'unlimited' agreement at sign-up. Affected customers should know pretty quickly as Vodafone will alert customers approaching their data limits with SMS warnings. It will then start charging monthly subscribers £5 for every 500MB over the 500MB allowance while pre-paid customers will pay 50p for every 10MB after the first 25MB.
Overall these are extremely encouraging moves and represent a welcome step towards being more open and honest towards customers. Obviously we'd love to see genuinely unlimited data bundles or an allowance higher than 500MB, but at least customers will now know exactly where they stand.
Now let's see other networks drop their 'unlimited' taglines and open-up as well. It's about honesty people...