TelstraClear blaming Vodafone is rather interesting. The network is live and from what I understood was very close to being complete. I guess we'll see a bit of a PR war now developeing between both companies over the coming days..
"We have the Choose 60 with the free Motorola V360v on a 12 month contract and free TXT2000 for 12 months"
I said I was interested in a 3G device and that I didn't actually want a new phone because my existing V600i phone which I paid $749 for still worked perfectly well but I wanted the extra 25% airtime and would therefore buy a phone and sell it if there were any deals since they couldn't give me the extra 25% airtime without buying a new phone.
The staff member then pointed out a Motorola 3G device (can't recall exact model) that was normally $399 but was available for $99 which got me interested. He then asked me if I was an existing Vodafone customer to which I said yes. He then asked me if I was on prepay or on account to which I responsed that I was on an account.
"Oh I'm sorry these deals are only available to new customers not resigns"
The response dumbfounded me. Why bother with all the advertising if it's not available to resigns? All this says to me is that we don't value your business and would be happy to see you port your number to Telecom and take your business with you.
So I asked what deals were available to me as an existing customer and he wasn't quite sure if there were any but headed over to a PC to have a look.
First stop was the v.box site. Every must remember v.box right? Vodafone spend loads of money sending all their on account customers out a nice metal plate towards the end of last year with a unique login to thank them for being a Vodafone customer
To say ‘thanks’ for being with Vodafone we’ve given you a v.box with some great offers just for you. Once you receive your combination via TXT, you’ll be able to log in to your v.box and see what great offers we’ve put together for you.
I mentioned the v.box website has had no deals, news or competitions or infact anything worthy of even reading for several months now.. after sending the new password to my phone and logging in it didn't take long before he realised the same thing. Looks like marketing wasted a fair few $$ there, it's no wonder airtime in NZ is so expensive.
He then asked me if I had checked out the hotupgrades.co.nz site to which I responded that I had tried it several times recently and got a mesage saying they were working on the site and to come back soon. He then tried the site himself to be greeted with the same message. Reading the blurb instore this site will offer customers deals for new phones based upon the amount of time they have been a customer and the amount they spend. Sounds like a great idea.. Just a shame it doesn't work.
He seemed a bit embarrased himself by now that nothing seemed to work and asked me how long I'd been a Vodafone customer for to which I responded just over 11 years. His response was that he was sure there would be some deals available for me and said he would try looking up my account on their computer...
2 computers and a CRTL-ALT-DEL later he then came to the conclusion that their was a fault somewhere with the system and he was unable to look up my details at present. After a short discussion he told me to keep trying the website to see what deals where on offer first and to come back into the store at a later date if I couldn't access it and he would see what sort of deal he could do for me.
Now I know I love mocking Vodafone but the simple fact is that most of the time they deserve it. Despite this Vodafone is a brand that I truely admire and to be completely honest is a company I would love to work for because there are so many simple things that could be fixed to make the whole "Vodafone experience" a far more rewarding adventure. My experience today however almost left me lost for words. The guy at the store was great but I'm sure he wasn't happy with what happened.
All I want to do is feel like I'm getting myself a deal. I'm not expecting a free $1000 handset. I'm not even expecting a free handset at all. I honestly don't even want buy a new phone. I just want to sign up for You Choose and get the extra 25% airtime for signing up with a 3G device but somebody decided the phone had to be purchased at the same time as you sign up. Because I was stupid enough to pay $749 buying an unsubsidised V600i within days of the 3G network launch to have the latest and greatest toys I'm effectively being penalised. Vodafone will only give me the extra 25% airtime if I go and buy a new subsidised phone. Why not just give customers the 25% extra airtime if they are already using a Vodafone NZ new 3G device?
How can a company be so dysfunctional and still have customers?
How long will it take before hotupgrades.co.nz actually works?
Do Vodafone actually care about their existing customers?
Will anybody at Vodafone respond to this?
Check in next week for the latest.
I personally don't have an issue with stores being closed on Easter Friday and Sunday however when we have exemptions for "tourist" towns that have no logic behind them you realise things are an absolute shambles. Why should Queenstown be exempt and not Wanaka? Why should Parnell shops be allowed to open but not Newmarket?
To add to the dramas most people don't actually realise that Easter Sunday is *not* a Public Holiday, it's merely a day that most retailers are not allowed to open their doors. As a result of this staff who do normally work on Sundays either have the choice of receiving no pay at all or taking a day's annual leave if they do wish to be paid, an issue that the National Distribution Union obviously forgot to mention when they critisised Bunnings for opening yesterday. Bunnings also paid staff members who did work time and a half as well as giving them an extra day in lieu, again something they didn't need to do.
With several private members bills before Parliament at present lets hope somebody can at least do something to sort out the mess. The most obvious decision would be to keep Easter Friday as a Public Holiday (with no exemptions as there are now) and let all retailers open on Sunday. Failing this Easter Sunday should be legislated as a Public Holiday and all retailers forced with close with no exemptions.
Let just hope somebody does something to sort things out..
Surely questions have to be asked how on Wednesday petrol prices had to increase but suddenly fall? If the increase was truely justifed then the backdown shouldn't have happened.
Fuel companies are the world's biggest cartel and seems to make a mockery of anti competition laws in virtually every western country. Why?
How about some compensation TCL? I pay good money for a service that has performed like rubbish. How about even being able to get basics right like updating your status page to indicate there are problems?
$2.24 billion should give Telecom enough money to build a WCDMA network! :-)
More details here on the Telecom Media site
Telecom's First Media network was rolled out in some Wgtn suburbs including Northland, Mt Victoria, Wadestown and Thorndon. It was also rolled out in Whitby, Lower Hutt CBD and Silverstream. The HFC network in Whitby and the Hutt CBD was all underground and is unused. The HFC network in the Wgtn suburbs and Silverstream was pulled down after protests from the residents associations who disagree with the overhead cables. It's a shame that somebody who considers himself an expert on the matter can't even get basic facts correct.
UPDATE: I've got a picture below of a TCL cabinet (left) and Telecom cabinet used for their First Media network which are still in a lot of places around Lower Hutt and Whitby
The big question is who Telecom's partner will be. I've put money on it for years that the 3 brand would appear in NZ with a joint Telecom NZ/Hutchinson deal. Pour a little bit of Telstra in the bucket as well and mix it all up and you never know what could come out.. Telcos see no problem now with building networks as a joint effort and it makes sence. Vodafone could finally see some very serious competition.
This is certainly going to be an interesting next 12 months in the NZ markerplace.