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46 posts

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  Reply # 102739 3-Jan-2008 16:36
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I've just arrived home from Sydney after 8 days of my phone failing to be usable. Thank you to Paul Brislen for replying to this thread, but there are several things that don't seem to add up.

One Christmas Eve my phone stopped working. Although it said it had full signal strength, it displayed the message "No Access" (the same goes for other family members phones, alternatively some displayed the message "Limited Service" - the only phone working was one on Telecom!). As it had been working originally, I decided to wait a day or so to see if it started working again. It didn't so I tried connecting to another network...

PaulBrinslen:

Vodafone NZ customers can switch to another Australian network and should be able to receive service on those (barring any issues those other networks are experiencing). The new roaming package offered by Vodafone NZ means that every network in Australia is treated the same from a billing perspective, so roaming onto one of the other networks won't cost Traveller roamers more than roaming on Vodafone Australia.

sbiddle: 

Not everybody wants Traveller and actually activating Traveller while roaming is virtually impossible anyway since there has been no easy way of contacting customer service. I'm sure most people won't be aware of the issues involved and couldn't care less what the cause is - they're just annoyed their phone doesn't work. I don't think people should automatically get compensation when their phone doesn't go but those who have incurred extra costs (such as roaming on Telstra) should be receiving compensation as a goodwill gesture.

My options were Vodafone AU, Telstra and Optus. There are two issues here. First off, I couldn't actually connect to any of these networks. My phone just didn't connect to one, and if I remember correctly the other said "Emergency Calls Only" or something along those lines. 

I have a Sony Ericsson K700 on a Motormouth prepay plan. I never activated Traveller. When I arrived on Christmas Eve my phone worked for a short time. I sent a text message and it charged me $0.80, the same with my sister who is on Supa prepay. It is my understanding that this is the Traveller price. In previous years I have been charged $0.20 per message in Australia and I confirmed this would be the case at a Vodafone store before I left (although I gather it might have been increased to $0.30 per message). Therefore, had I been automatically placed on Traveller without being told? I suspect this might be the case. As sbiddle said above, not everyone wants to be on Traveller, and in any case, it wasn't much good here anyway as my phone would not connect to other networks as said cafeg:

cafeg:
UMM, Thats is one of the first things I tried as I'm sure most did - was to connect to another network, When you do all you get is NO NETWORK even though the phone can see the other 3 - Optus, Telstra and Three.

I went into the Bondi Junction Vodafone store on the 27th and asked them why my phone (along with four other family members) wasn't working. The sales women there was not surprised to hear about my problem as she said that people had been coming in all day from New Zealand with the same problem and she had tried unsuccessfully to get their phones working. She said that Vodafone were aware of the problem and roaming was expected to be working again that evening. Hence I didn't buy a local SIM card from Vodafone or an alternative supplier.

PaulBrislen: 

It's the ROAMING INTERNATIONALLY bit that means they can't log on due to a lack of INTERNATIONAL capacity.

Now this is what doesn't make sense. How much capacity is needed to check someone's billing details. I was not trying to call New Zealand, simply someone 2KM down the road. Surely you could prioritise admin functions as this would have solved most people's problems. I suspect zocster's post better reflects the problems:

zocster:

Problem Description     Connection to the Network is lost at Vodafone Australia and effects Vodafone New Zealand and Vodafone Fiji.
Update 2: The fault has been recognised to be with the firewall, Engineers looking to fix the issue.

I know it was Christmas, but 8 days plus to narrow down a problem does not seem to be acceptable in my opinion. Not having a cellphone can be a major inconvenience. I hope that when I travel to the US later this month I don't experience the same problems.

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  Reply # 102740 3-Jan-2008 16:40

The firewall issue is an ENTIRELY different thing. I'm not sure where that information is coming from but the firewall is a Vodafone NZ related issue and has nothing to do with problems in Australia on Vodafone Australia with regard to international roaming.





Paul Brislen
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Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 102743 3-Jan-2008 16:51
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PaulBrislen: The firewall issue is an ENTIRELY different thing. I'm not sure where that information is coming from but the firewall is a Vodafone NZ related issue and has nothing to do with problems in Australia on Vodafone Australia with regard to international roaming.

Assuming then that is issue is related to extremely high usage over the holiday period and there being no more capacity available to buy, how is it that Telecom had capacity? Surely the number of Telecom customers roaming would have increased in similar proportions? The one person I knew in Australia with a Telecom phone was able to place calls to New Zealand just fine. If they could obtain capacity, why couldn't Vodafone?

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  Reply # 102744 3-Jan-2008 16:53
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maccrazy:
My options were Vodafone AU, Telstra and Optus. There are two issues here. First off, I couldn't actually connect to any of these networks. My phone just didn't connect to one, and if I remember correctly the other said "Emergency Calls Only" or something along those lines. 

I have a Sony Ericsson K700 on a Motormouth prepay plan. I never activated Traveller. When I arrived on Christmas Eve my phone worked for a short time. I sent a text message and it charged me $0.80, the same with my sister who is on Supa prepay. It is my understanding that this is the Traveller price. In previous years I have been charged $0.20 per message in Australia and I confirmed this would be the case at a Vodafone store before I left (although I gather it might have been increased to $0.30 per message). Therefore, had I been automatically placed on Traveller without being told? I suspect this might be the case. As sbiddle said above, not everyone wants to be on Traveller, and in any case, it wasn't much good here anyway as my phone would not connect to other networks as said cafeg:




You could only connect to Vodafone because that's all AutoRoaming allows you to do - to roam on other networks you need to have set up roaming on your Prepay account (visit a store and give them you credit card number) or be On Account.

TXT messages now cost 80c while roaming on any foreign network. This has nothing to do with Traveller and no you are not on traveller. Sending a TXT while roaming in Australia used to cost somewhere in the 20c - 50c vicinity depending on what plan you were on and if you had TXT2000 not. It's now 80c everywhere on any network.

If a store told you it was 20c I'm sure Paul would love to know what store told you this so staff could undergo some corrective training! :-)



Now this is what doesn't make sense. How much capacity is needed to check someone's billing details. I was not trying to call New Zealand, simply someone 2KM down the road. Surely you could prioritise admin functions as this would have solved most people's problems. I suspect zocster's post better reflects the problems:



I'd hate to say it but you probably need to understand a little better how GSM roaming works to appreciate why this has happened. It doesn't matter whether you are calling down the road or across the world while you're roaming, your phone is relying on the signalling back to Vodafone NZ. Because this was overloaded you couldn't do anything.




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  Reply # 102745 3-Jan-2008 16:57
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That's because syetems with Telecom just usually "work" ...
When it does break, they are up front as to the reasons and offer communication and usually compensation as a goodwill gesture.

Roll on Telecom GSM!

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  Reply # 102749 3-Jan-2008 17:11
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LMAO!

Sorry but thats hilarious.

Things with Vodafone 'just work' too.  The current problems are pretty exceptional and though I have to admit it sounds like they could've been handled better, on the whole theyre pretty good to deal with.

Better than Telecom, I might add - at least in my experience.

Anyone who's ever been a customer of Xtra might have opinions around exactly how 'up front' they are with their outage explanations, and their 'goodwill credits' for significant problems are a big enough deal that they tend to wind up in the media.







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  Reply # 102750 3-Jan-2008 17:16
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Now this is getting a bit off topic, please keep your comments about roaming and the problems associated with it.

You can start another discussion about which Telco is the biggest saint/devil.

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  Reply # 102751 3-Jan-2008 17:17
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BlakJak: LMAO!

Sorry but thats hilarious.

Things with Vodafone 'just work' too. The current problems are pretty exceptional and though I have to admit it sounds like they could've been handled better, on the whole theyre pretty good to deal with.

Better than Telecom, I might add - at least in my experience.

Anyone who's ever been a customer of Xtra might have opinions around exactly how 'up front' they are with their outage explanations, and their 'goodwill credits' for significant problems are a big enough deal that they tend to wind up in the media.





Please stay on topic. This is not a thread about Telecom/Xtra, but rather Vodafone roaming issues.




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  Reply # 102753 3-Jan-2008 17:18
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BlakJak: LMAO!

Sorry but thats hilarious.

Things with Vodafone 'just work' too.  The current problems are pretty exceptional and though I have to admit it sounds like they could've been handled better, on the whole theyre pretty good to deal with.




Just Work? Lucky for you, I'm still waiting for my first correct bill from Vodafone after the pit stop some 5 months ago now. 




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  Reply # 102754 3-Jan-2008 17:19
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Sorry, I was responding to the assertion that somehow Telecom's network was better than Vodafones and that this current outage was evidentiary of the fact.  Strikes me as quite on-topic really.

I'm watching with Interest as I roam with Vodafone semi-regularly.  To date i've never had a problem but perhaps that's more an artifact of timing than anything else.

Meanwhile I agree that the root cause (poor international connectivity) has been identified and that (together with the limitations of Prepay accounts) would explain the user experience to date.

What remains is to see exactly how rapidly Vodafone are able to rectify the situation to the satisfaction of their customers.     




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  Reply # 102755 3-Jan-2008 17:24
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exportgoldman:
BlakJak: LMAO!

Sorry but thats hilarious.

Things with Vodafone 'just work' too. The current problems are pretty exceptional and though I have to admit it sounds like they could've been handled better, on the whole theyre pretty good to deal with.




Just Work? Lucky for you, I'm still waiting for my first correct bill from Vodafone after the pit stop some 5 months ago now.


I would hope that makes you part of the exception, not the rule.
I've had an OnAccount arrangement with Vodafone since late 1999 or so and have never yet had any significant problems.

I assume you've taken the usual steps to have that issue pursued and/or escalated given the apparent time delay?  I'm new to the forums here so if you've posted your saga elsewhere, my apologies...

I've been dealing with Telecom Mobile since '96 and Vodafone since '98 or so, in both Prepay and Contractd formats.  Neither firm have it in their best interest to screw with someones account on purpose.

I do however give major credit to the fact that a Vodafone spokesperson has taken the time to explain their current problem here.... the obvious comparison left unsaid as I agree this shouldn't be about telco-bashing.





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  Reply # 102757 3-Jan-2008 17:26
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sbiddle:

You could only connect to Vodafone because that's all AutoRoaming allows you to do - to roam on other networks you need to have set up roaming on your Prepay account (visit a store and give them you credit card number) or be On Account.

TXT messages now cost 80c while roaming on any foreign network. This has nothing to do with Traveller and no you are not on traveller. Sending a TXT while roaming in Australia used to cost somewhere in the 20c - 50c vicinity depending on what plan you were on and if you had TXT2000 not. It's now 80c everywhere on any network.

If a store told you it was 20c I'm sure Paul would love to know what store told you this so staff could undergo some corrective training! :-)

I just re-read the roaming brochure, and it appears you are correct about auto roaming. However, in my opinion it needs to have more information about roaming when you are not on Traveller. There is nothing to suggest the pricing for those not using Traveller has changed by such a significant amount. Sure, it is written on the Vodafone website if you look it up, but the average person reading the brochure wouldn't necessarily go and look that up as nothing suggests the pricing will be any different from when they last went to Australia. Maybe they should, but most won't unless you alert them to the fact Traveller essentially removes the old roaming system rather than existing along side it.

sbiddle:

I'd hate to say it but you probably need to understand a little better how GSM roaming works to appreciate why this has happened. It doesn't matter whether you are calling down the road or across the world while you're roaming, your phone is relying on the signalling back to Vodafone NZ. Because this was overloaded you couldn't do anything.


You're perfectly correct about my lack of GSM knowledge, I didn't realise that every call is routed back through New Zealand. I suspect that most people won't realise that large numbers of calls home from New Zealanders roaming in Australia will mean there isn't enough capacity for them to even connect to the Vodafone AU network.Smile

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  Reply # 102758 3-Jan-2008 17:36
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You're perfectly correct about my lack of GSM knowledge, I didn't realise that every call is routed back through New Zealand. I suspect that most people won't realise that large numbers of calls home from New Zealanders roaming in Australia will mean there isn't enough capacity for them to even connect to the Vodafone AU network.Smile


If the calls didn't touch NZ systems, Voda NZ would have fun trying to charge for the call. :-)
Inversely, someone calling your NZ Mobile number will find their call routed to the switch equipment in NZ, which then has to realise you're infact roaming and redirect the call to the network currently hosting your phone.  So being able to 'talk home' is pretty important.

I assume (have not yet picked up otherwise) that connecting to Voda AU would give you 'emergency calls only' the same as the other networks.  This is a bit like using a phone without a valid connection, that'll only give you emergency calls as it has no way to administer billing, etc.  Same symptom as caused by the lack of trans-tasman connectivity.              




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  Reply # 102760 3-Jan-2008 17:44
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BlakJak:

I assume (have not yet picked up otherwise) that connecting to Voda AU would give you 'emergency calls only' the same as the other networks.  

My phone said "No Access" (there is a separate message if you have access to emergency numbers), although I didn't actually try ringing the emergency services. I wasn't that desperate to use my phone. Tongue out

sbiddle

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  Reply # 102761 3-Jan-2008 17:44
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maccrazy:

I just re-read the roaming brochure, and it appears you are correct about auto roaming. However, in my opinion it needs to have more information about roaming when you are not on Traveller. There is nothing to suggest the pricing for those not using Traveller has changed by such a significant amount. Sure, it is written on the Vodafone website if you look it up, but the average person reading the brochure wouldn't necessarily go and look that up as nothing suggests the pricing will be any different from when they last went to Australia. Maybe they should, but most won't unless you alert them to the fact Traveller essentially removes the old roaming system rather than existing along side it.



Traveller doesn't "remove" the old roaming system in any way. At the same time Vodafone introduced traveller they made two changes to the existing roaming. All incoming calls now cost $1 per minute peak or offpeak no matter what network you're on and all SMS's cost 80c per message. There have been quite a few different rates paid by people roaming over the years depending on what plan you were on. Because Vodafone's billing system couldn't charge Prepay users on Autoroam more than the standard NZ rate for an SMS they could only charge you 20c in AutoRoam countries, this was substancally less in many cases than On Account customers paid. If you were On Account and roamed in Aussie you paid 20c up until a couple of years ago, since then you have paid 62c (45c intl SMS rate + the 17c SMS rate). In most other countries you were typically paying anywhere from 50c - $1.00 for the SMS surcharge + the usual 17c for a TXT.



You're perfectly correct about my lack of GSM knowledge, I didn't realise that every call is routed back through New Zealand. I suspect that most people won't realise that large numbers of calls home from New Zealanders roaming in Australia will mean there isn't enough capacity for them to even connect to the Vodafone AU network.Smile


The call isn't routed back through NZ but the signalling is otherwise the system wouldn't be able to bill you.

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