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ageorge

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#154619 2-Nov-2014 20:13
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Vodafone $1.5 paper charge.

First off, I think this is a fair price for a paper invoice service, BUT what I dont think is fair, and most likely a breach of contract is most customers have agreed for 12 months to a contract which includes specific items eg call waiting, caller ID paper invoicing and so on.
WE HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY AGREED TO A NEW PAPER CHARGE.
If Vodafone introduced the charge on the next contract negotiation, that would be open and fair, but to slip it in during a contract period in my opinion is illegal.

I have argued this with Vodafone, who insists that the charge is fair and they are donating heaps to 'Dinky Books' or whatever. Lets face it, for many, when our contracts started there was no such charge because the costs were already built in to the overall price of the contract.

Despite Vodafone have notified us of this charge during our contract, if I notified them that I was going to quit Vodafone tomorrow because of this unagreed charge, they would try to fine me around couple of hundred dollars for breach of contract. At this stage, I dont wish to do this, but its a pretty one-sided deal when they can tutu around with a contract, but we cant.

I have moved to email invoicing, but am really grumpy about Vodafone putting this charge on because the bigger picture is its a possible wrought of hundreds of thousands of dollars when you consider their huge customer base who mostly are on contract with agreed pricing for agreed services.

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johnr
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  #1167118 2-Nov-2014 20:19
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Contract terms can change as stated in the terms and conditions and in this case they have like pricing can change

It is costly sending out paper invoices but we have already covered this on the other threads covering the same topic

John

nitrotech
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  #1167125 2-Nov-2014 20:25
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While I kind of agree - if you've seen Vodafone's latest financial results then the options for then to return to profitability are to either reduce costs or increase prices - I'm all for the reducing costs eg just get the bill via email and save Voda a few $ on postage.

 
 
 
 


ageorge

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  #1167135 2-Nov-2014 20:43
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johnr: Contract terms can change as stated in the terms and conditions and in this case they have like pricing can change

It is costly sending out paper invoices but we have already covered this on the other threads covering the same topic

John


Wow you mean that VF can change T&C but customers cant?
I didnt go through the fine print but I guess VF could argue, well if our charges increase we have to increase.
But from what I gather most service charges have reduced but customers never see this reduction until their next negotiation; in the meantime other ISP drop their prices.


raytaylor
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  #1167136 2-Nov-2014 20:45
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Vodafone retains the right to change the terms of the contract - industry standard practice is with at least 1 months notice.
Under consumer law, you have a right to end the contract if the new terms do not meet your expectations to what you signed up for at the beginning.

So if there is a price change, vodafone give you 30 days notice, so that if you dont agree, you can cancel the contract without penalty.




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johnr
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  #1167143 2-Nov-2014 20:57
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ageorge:
johnr: Contract terms can change as stated in the terms and conditions and in this case they have like pricing can change

It is costly sending out paper invoices but we have already covered this on the other threads covering the same topic

John


Wow you mean that VF can change T&C but customers cant?
I didnt go through the fine print but I guess VF could argue, well if our charges increase we have to increase.
But from what I gather most service charges have reduced but customers never see this reduction until their next negotiation; in the meantime other ISP drop their prices.



Read the terms of your contract you signed and the terms are on the Vodafone NZ site as well

These terms are not just special to Vodafone read the other carriers terms and conditions

dejadeadnz
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  #1167179 2-Nov-2014 22:08
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As a rule (and this is coming from a commercial lawyer who's far more familiar with contracts and the commercial realities of contracting then the relatively one-sided ranters, both pro and anti-VF in this thread) most in-contract price changes are not substantial nor commercially unreasonable in the grand scheme of things. The $1.50 charge is hardly creaming it - a standard letter costs 65 or 70 cents to send for a retail customer. Even if VF gets a discount for bulk mailing, when you account for the cost of postage, the envelope, the admin and human costs, $1.50 is simply hardly worth getting outraged over.

On the other hand, I wish the very best of luck to any company stupid enough to substantially increase the price of services on the basis of a notice provision during a time where a customer is locked into a contract and must pay a pre-agreed early termination fee or suck up a massive increase. It won't quite work to just say "It's in the contract!" -- contract law requires very deliberate, specific notice of particularly onerous terms to the offeree before these can be fully take advantage of by the offeror in the case of "take it or leave it" standard form contracts. If the increase is onerous enough and someone decides to contest it in those circumstances, I can see a Disputes Tribunal referee reading in proviso that all price increases must be reasonable or giving the consumer other suitable remedies. And there will likely be CGA-based remedies available as well.

But here in the real world, most companies act fairly reasonably to people locked into fixed contracts. For those who aren't in fixed contracts, just leave. For all the areas in which our telcos often fall short, it does pay to remember that competition is pretty fierce here and by and large we have things pretty good.



sidders80
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  #1167212 2-Nov-2014 23:11
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This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract. I personally like it getting my VF bill on email as less clutter around the house. 




Sid

 
 
 
 


tardtasticx
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  #1167217 2-Nov-2014 23:40
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sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 




Bachelor of Computing Systems (2015)

 

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mattwnz
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  #1167218 2-Nov-2014 23:44
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tardtasticx:
sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 


They will however have the option to opt out of receiving that invoice, and just have it emailed, which wouldn't incur any additional cost.

But I think that these telcos really need to remember that these people are their cusomters, and are paying their wages. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of customers, and creates some badwill, when the company maybe paying hundreds, if not thousands per month, and the telco can't absorb a small fee like that. It is not as though their margins are small in most cases either.  Obviously the bean counters in the back room making the decisions think it is worth charging it vs. the badwill it creates.

tardtasticx
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  #1167219 2-Nov-2014 23:47
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mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 


They will however have the option to opt out of receiving that invoice, and just have it emailed, which wouldn't incur any additional cost.


Except its a disadvantage to the customer still because if they don't want to read their invoice on a screen and don't want to pay a $1.50 charge they're going to be in a bit of a pickle since theres no way around it. Obviously most people won't have a problem with it or will suck it up/pay the charge, but some people will object to it for their own reasons which is fair enough. 




Bachelor of Computing Systems (2015)

 

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Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display (4GB/2.4GHz i5/128GB SSD) - HP DV6 (8GB/2.8GHz i7/120GB SSD + 750GB HDD)
iPhone 6S + (64GB/Gold/Vodafone NZ) - Xperia Z C6603 (16GB/White/Spark NZ)

Sam, Auckland 


mattwnz
16861 posts

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  #1167220 2-Nov-2014 23:49
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tardtasticx:
mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 


They will however have the option to opt out of receiving that invoice, and just have it emailed, which wouldn't incur any additional cost.


Except its a disadvantage to the customer still because if they don't want to read their invoice on a screen and don't want to pay a $1.50 charge they're going to be in a bit of a pickle since theres no way around it. Obviously most people won't have a problem with it or will suck it up/pay the charge, but some people will object to it for their own reasons which is fair enough. 


They can still print out a PDF invoice which will be exactly the same, but it shifts the prices of printing to the customer, so they will be down 10 cents.

tardtasticx
3027 posts

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  #1167221 2-Nov-2014 23:51
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mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 


They will however have the option to opt out of receiving that invoice, and just have it emailed, which wouldn't incur any additional cost.


Except its a disadvantage to the customer still because if they don't want to read their invoice on a screen and don't want to pay a $1.50 charge they're going to be in a bit of a pickle since theres no way around it. Obviously most people won't have a problem with it or will suck it up/pay the charge, but some people will object to it for their own reasons which is fair enough. 


They can still print out a PDF invoice which will be exactly the same, but it shifts the prices of printing to the customer, so they will be down 10 cents.


Exactly, so they're disadvantaged now. No matter how little. 




Bachelor of Computing Systems (2015)

 

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Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display (4GB/2.4GHz i5/128GB SSD) - HP DV6 (8GB/2.8GHz i7/120GB SSD + 750GB HDD)
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Sam, Auckland 


mattwnz
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  #1167222 2-Nov-2014 23:55
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tardtasticx:
mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 


They will however have the option to opt out of receiving that invoice, and just have it emailed, which wouldn't incur any additional cost.


Except its a disadvantage to the customer still because if they don't want to read their invoice on a screen and don't want to pay a $1.50 charge they're going to be in a bit of a pickle since theres no way around it. Obviously most people won't have a problem with it or will suck it up/pay the charge, but some people will object to it for their own reasons which is fair enough. 


They can still print out a PDF invoice which will be exactly the same, but it shifts the prices of printing to the customer, so they will be down 10 cents.


Exactly, so they're disadvantaged now. No matter how little. 


10 cents cost though wouldn't be enough to cancel a contract over. The cost is zero if they just save the PDF. Now if the cost was higher, and was a larger percentage of the contract, then it maybe a different matter.

tardtasticx
3027 posts

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  #1167224 3-Nov-2014 00:00
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mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
mattwnz:
tardtasticx:
sidders80: This is not at all different to a situation when mobile providers increase allocation to a certain plan. Lets say when you signed a contract and Vodafone was giving you x amount of minutes and some data as a part of that plan. You signed for 12 months and Vodafone increased the allocation for that plan after 6 months. Now would you expect this change to be applied to your plan from the next billing cycle or once your contract finishes? I guess you would be pissed off if you had to wait till the end of the contract.


But in that case (assuming the provider offered to increase the customers allocation) both parties would obviously agree to the change in terms, because there is no loss whatsoever for the customer, and the provider is the one offering the change so they can't really object either since it was their decision to start with.

Where as in the case of invoices being charged for, the customer will be out of pocket or at a loss (not receiving a paper bill) so therefor they should be able to agree or disagree to the change in their terms. 


They will however have the option to opt out of receiving that invoice, and just have it emailed, which wouldn't incur any additional cost.


Except its a disadvantage to the customer still because if they don't want to read their invoice on a screen and don't want to pay a $1.50 charge they're going to be in a bit of a pickle since theres no way around it. Obviously most people won't have a problem with it or will suck it up/pay the charge, but some people will object to it for their own reasons which is fair enough. 


They can still print out a PDF invoice which will be exactly the same, but it shifts the prices of printing to the customer, so they will be down 10 cents.


Exactly, so they're disadvantaged now. No matter how little. 


10 cents cost though wouldn't be enough to cancel a contract over. The cost is zero if they just save the PDF. Now if the cost was higher, and was a larger percentage of the contract, then it maybe a different matter.


Might not be for you but like I said, any disadvantage is a disadvantage none the less and something that was not originally agreed on. It probably wouldnt be something most people would drag to the disputes tribunal, but the option should be there regardless. A contract is a contract and a change should need mutual agreement 




Bachelor of Computing Systems (2015)

 

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Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display (4GB/2.4GHz i5/128GB SSD) - HP DV6 (8GB/2.8GHz i7/120GB SSD + 750GB HDD)
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Sam, Auckland 


mattbush
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  #1167229 3-Nov-2014 00:52
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multiply $1.50 times 12 months times the number of customers you think VF will have........and you will see that it has little to do with the cost of paper invoices

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