Open letter to Russell Stanners - why Vodafone NZ sucks

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 1-Jan-2007 03:56

Well it's happened yet again, Vodafone's UMTS network has crapped itself and appears to have taken the core IP network with it meaning that no 3G user in NZ has been able to send SMS's on one of the busiest nights of the year and data and MMS services have been unavailable for all customer since late last night.

Since you seem to be such a media savvy person and we know that so many Vodafone staff read Geekzone (so you're sure to get this message) maybe you'd like to add your comments to this post and give us your thoughts on how you will improve Vodafone NZ since it's the start of a new year. Since the buck stops at the top of any organisation are you up to it or are you scared to face those who openly criticise you?

So far in the past 2 weeks your UMTS network has suffered 3 major outages. Your customer service sucks. Your loyalty to long term customers is non existant. You are getting your arse whipped by Telecom because you simply can't bring products to the market that users want. You don't give a crap about on account customers who deliver the bulk of your ARPU and you're failing to actually get new customers. Vodafone used to be a brand that brought innovation to the NZ mobile market and was a company and brand that I truely believed in and would have been proud to work for. Now the brand represents nothing but a failure in the NZ mobile market. If it wasn't for the fact your network is such a cash cow you would have been gone long ago and replaced by somebody who knew how to run a business.

I've just got home after celebrating New Years and had a mate so annoyed by the response he got from customer service he's told them where to stick his $400 a month contract and is going out to sign up with Telecom tomorrow. The least you can do after these ongoing network failures is to compensate your customers but I'll put money on the fact you won't because you honestly don't care.

Bring back Graham Maher. At least he knew how to run a network. Even Larry did better job running an underfunded and under resourced BellSouth.


Happy new year.



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Comment by juha, on 1-Jan-2007 10:20

I'm still chasing Vodafone for official comment on what happened, but they're in holiday mode at the moment.


Comment by brett, on 1-Jan-2007 22:36

roaming on JP "softbank" mobile, never had so many problems as here in NZ...



couldn't happen at a worse time of year, can't contact my mates back home :(


Comment by RVD, on 2-Jan-2007 11:44

I still cannot recieve messages from my boyfriend in NZ. He is with Vodafone. So am I but in Australia. Do you know if the problem is fixed?


Author's note by sbiddle, on 2-Jan-2007 12:43

People are still reporting issues with being unable to send SMS messages on Vodafone NZ today still.


Comment by RVD, on 2-Jan-2007 13:56

Is there anything I can do? Switch connections? Any ideas? Vodafone helpdesk are NO HELP!


Comment by AJ, on 2-Jan-2007 16:08

I saw this in the printed version of the Herald this morning while on my way back to work: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/search/story.cfm?storyid=000A0BA2-ECB1-1598-BC0683027AF1010F Since arriving in Australia, I've had a terrible time sending SMS'; and I have received one but know there are others. It would appear it's not just international calling and SMSing that's a problem, but problems even for their own customers roaming.


Comment by AJ, on 2-Jan-2007 16:09

I saw this in the printed version of the Herald this morning while on my way back to work:



http://www.nzherald.co.nz/search/story.cfm?storyid=000A0BA2-ECB1-1598-BC0683027AF1010F



Since arriving in Australia, I've had a terrible time sending SMS'; and I have received one but know there are others. It would appear it's not just international calling and SMSing that's a problem, but problems even for their own customers roaming.


Comment by psychrn, on 3-Jan-2007 00:04

I believe the "problem " was resolved mid afternoon on the 2nd Jan.
I have been able to send txt for at least 2 days, nearer 3.


Comment by paradoxsm, on 3-Jan-2007 00:06

Well using Vodafone prepay autoroam in australia in 2005 was nothing short of a disaster..... I ended up using my 027 which costs more.... it never missed a beat the entire time I was there... if you see my current blog.. I bought almost the first Telecom global roaming GSM phone.


Author's note by sbiddle, on 3-Jan-2007 12:11

The only problem I've ever had roaming (apart from the price!) was when I was in the UK in 1999. SMS's kept saying that sending had failed even though they were being sent OK. Since BellSouth had such great committed CSR staff they looked into it and discovered a configuration problem that was affecting all roaming customers. It had been like that for some time and nobody had complained so they thanked me for bringing it to their attention!


Comment by AJ, on 4-Jan-2007 11:54

And so it continues with another article in the Herald about it:- http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10417585 Roaming service appears to be back to normal, although GPRS/UMTS data roaming is intermittent. Christmas 2003 saw Vodafone have major roaming issues with Italian carriers, which was very annoying. Calls to the phone rang endlessly, SMS' were not delivered, and you could call out to Italy but not internationally. I have an 021 and 027 phone with me in Australia, and find the 027 service somewhat hit-and-miss, especially with SMS. Caller ID is also extremely unreliable.


Comment by Ben, on 19-Feb-2009 13:57

"Because you simply can't bring products to the market that users want" Vodafone has a far better range of phones and services than telecom. Telecom is a sinking ship, vodafone has been running a GSM network for 14 Odd years and things are finally starting to smooth out. Telecom is going to abandon is base cdma customers to move to a pure 3g network forcing them to buy only the lastest( expensive ) mobiles. Because Vodafone have based there 3g network on an exsisting gsm network even 10-12 YO phones still work. When telecom switch to 3G in june it will be a complete and utter mess, they dont no what there getting into. Telecoms promissing to deliver a network in june that vodafone have had for four years. PS: Look at the telecom website and you will find alot of hollow promises and no facts. Note telecoms official disclaimer... "Because these statements are forward looking, TCNZ's actual results could differ materially." B.


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Steve Biddle
Wellington
New Zealand


I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.


I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)
  -Polycom
  -Cisco
  -Linksys
  -Patton
  -Zyxel
  -Snom
  -Sangoma
  -Audiocodes

*Telecommunications/Broadband
  -xDSL deployments
  -WiMAX
  -GSM/WCDMA
  -WiFi

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
   
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.


+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.


You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com

twitter.com/stevebiddle