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Vodafone Scrapping All 'Unlimited' Data Branding

Gordon Kelly

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Vodafone Scrapping All 'Unlimited' Data Branding

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...

Link:

Via TechRadar

jingyeow

May 11, 2010, 4:35 am

Very responsible move. They could technically keep unlimited, because once you reach the limit, you do not hit a brick wall in terms of access. Your access to the internet is "unlimited". The best system would be to have a strict limit in force, with perhaps a free 10-20% excess limit in place. So If I went over 500mb by <100mb, I would not be charged any excess.

Stewart Clark

May 11, 2010, 12:00 pm

My O2 contract expires soon and I was thinking about Vodafone, but not now. I was recently involved in some market research, I think for Vodafone, and it was about a whole range of new price plans. The one that interested me was that I would be able to use my data plan abroad without roaming charges. If they did this then I would call it fair exchange and move to Vodafone, or who ever offered this type of deal.

Hamish Campbell

May 11, 2010, 12:47 pm

I've got two little issues.





1. They are dropping 'unlimitied' as it is not going to be unlimited. Whereas before....is was not unlimited either.





2. The customer has to show, based on previous usage, a 10% increase. Errr....great service that. They've have ALL the data for ALL their customers sitting in a database. Give me a couple of hours and I could generate a report identifying every customer affected by over 10%. Why aren't they notifying all these customers and offering them to change. Lazy and sneaky if you ask me.

eyewonder

May 11, 2010, 1:44 pm

I am a long-standing customer of Vodafone and in the last week of April renewed my contract with them. I changed from the Blackberry Storm to the HTC Desire with the agreement that my data, text and call allowances would remain the same but for a slightly lower monthly cost.





Upon reading your last article I was infuriated by the fact that this must have been in the pipeline at Vodafone for some time and I was not advised at the point of sale nor over the phone when renewing my contract.





500mb is a measly amount of data when using this type of phone (why is data plan for the Nexus 1 larger than the Desire when they are essentially the same phone?1) and services such as Spotify and LastFM etc, as already highlighted by many people under the last article. I am no less than positive that I will exceed this amount on a monthly basis and will therefore be looking to use this to substantiate my request to cancel my contract.





However I have a few questions: When does the 14 day notification period come into effect, is it from the time you first exceed the data limit or from the date of the bill for that period? Does it have to be the first time you exceed the limit or if I find myself continuously exceeding the limit am I able to opt out a few months down the line? In addition to this, does the 10% increase in cost have to apply to each element of the plan or does it relate strictly to data charges? And finally, as the phone was provided free of cost in lieu of the 18month contract, will I be obliged to return the handset?





I have tried to present these questions to Vodafone customer service representatives but have been met with mixed responses at best.





I would appreciate any help from your side Gordon as it appears that not even the staff at Vodafone are aware of what is going on!

ramzez

May 11, 2010, 2:29 pm

hmm interesting, yesterday iPad 3G pricing on apple site says "unlimited" for vodafone with a note 5Gb fair usage policy

Stewart

May 11, 2010, 2:58 pm

If you get billed monthly how are you meant to show you're adversely effected within 14 days without a whole lot of messing about.


Smacks of relying on good old customer inertia as only but the most attentive customers are going to take advantage of this get out.

Simon

May 11, 2010, 3:21 pm

Well, i think if this means the beginning of the end for the term 'unlimited' then it can only be a good thing.

David Horn

May 11, 2010, 3:30 pm

Or you could just use T-Mobile, which offers broadly "unlimited" access with a 3GB cap, not a feeble 500MB one. And if you do go over the limit, you're not charged extra - you just get a couple of text messages complaining, which is pretty reasonable.

Runadumb

May 11, 2010, 4:18 pm

So I read this and was all for praising Vodafone, then I read the comments. Many good points in there and while the outcome long overdue the way they are going about changing their data service is awful.


In saying that I hope all other operators follow suit with dumping the "Unlimited" lie

Max

May 12, 2010, 12:22 am

So I called Voda today and cancelled my contract and got a refund on all internet charges over and above the agreed amount. £187 refund and £196 saved in cancellation fees. Got an O2 sim on the way, awesome. The fair use policy was good, I used around 700MB-1GB a month and I never got any extra charges, in the last 3 months I got a lot and was confused as to why.

Jay4d0

May 12, 2010, 1:24 am

@darkspark88: I would definately not agree that they could still call it unlimited, as was said on the other voda thread but





"Evilpaul said on 10th May 2010:


To me a sensible view would be:


Unlimited : No caps, no extra charges, no speed limiting


Unlimited with Fair Use : No cap, no extra charges, speed limited past a point


Limited : Past a certain amount of data you are cut off, or charged extra"





I seriously think that the networks should be far more open like this, if they offer some sort of data SAY how much it gives you and dont dare call it unlimited (like virgin mobile do with their 'unlimited' internet for 30p a day which they think stands for 25MB :S laughable)

PGrGr

May 12, 2010, 5:56 pm

I was with voda for years but recently moved to t-mob with an HTC Desire deal. My experience with vodafone was that although reception was always good, their customer service stank. They gave new meaning to the phrase hard sell, even calling me 3 times _after_ I had ported my number to try to convince me to stay with them, using the most devious and misleading of tactics.

TafKas

May 12, 2010, 6:44 pm

Guess this puts an end to me getting myself a spotify account for my hero, wonder where I stand with that, when I took the contract out it was sold to me as an 'unlimited' internet/data package. Any ideas?

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