Vodafail takes in 12,000 complaints

By Ry Crozier on Jan 21, 2011 3:15 PM
Filed under Communications

Calls for discounts, free contract escapes for affected users.

Vodafail.com has called on troubled mobile carrier VHA to offer disgruntled customers a "standard set of options" while it fixes its network.

Site founder Adam Brimo today launched a report [pdf] collating customer responses to the Vodafail site.

A Vodafone spokesman told iTnews the carrier had taken a range of actions to combat the problems. It has previously apologised to customers for network issues.

Brimo's call to action included the provision by VHA of a set of "resolution options" for customers affected by the carrier's network performance issues.

The options suggested included "reduced charges while network issues are affecting customers or the ability to cancel their contract without charge."

Brimo also called on VHA to improve communication of network faults between business units, particularly head office and frontline customer service staff, and for a "general investigation" into service billing "to ensure that customers are being billed fairly and appropriately and that all new contracts are clearly articulated to customers."

Vodafail recorded just over 12,000 complaints in the three months it had been operating.

Over half of all complaints – about 6,242 – related to lack of phone or data reception in an expected coverage area, according to the report.

The report showed a side-by-side comparison of coverage maps for Sydney provided by Vodafone and crowdsourced by Vodafail.com.

The Vodafail.com map (page six) showed large parts of CBD areas where network reception was under "two bars" on a user's handset.

The report claimed to have tracked the IP addresses of responses purportedly made by Vodafone staff members on the Vodafail.com site back to Vodafone retail stores.

It claimed that VHA staff was using "common messages" that put the blame for network issues squarely on users.

The messages were said to include that network issues were "actually issues with individuals' handsets"; that "'You get what you pay for' - stating that a lower quality of service is expected due to the lower fees charged by Vodafone"; and that "only a small percentage of users were affected so customers have no right to complain".

Several thousand more complaints lodged on the Vodafail site were about various aspects of VHA's customer service.

VHA's response

A VHA spokesman told iTnews that the company "valued all customer feedback" and that it had been "working with customers that have contacted us directly to understand the exact nature of the issues they may have encountered and provide appropriate information and solutions."

The spokesman said he was "pleased with progress in optimising the network following [the] issues last year".

He said that the carrier had put on more staff in customer service centres, launched a network status page and was in the process of communicating its network investments by suburb "to show what we are doing to improve and grow our network."

 
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