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Topic # 233359 13-Apr-2018 09:33
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Just received (link not yet on Commerce Commission website):

 

Commission lays charges against Vodafone for its FibreX broadband advertising
The Commerce Commission has laid 27 charges under the Fair Trading Act against Vodafone New Zealand Limited (Vodafone) for engaging in false and misleading conduct in relation to its FibreX broadband service.

The charges were filed in the Auckland District Court and relate to conduct in the three regions where FibreX is offered (Wellington, Christchurch and Kapiti), between 26 October 2016 and 28 March 2018.

The Commission alleges that by naming its broadband service “FibreX”, along with its advertising of FibreX on billboards, radio, in-store, online and in direct-marketing, Vodafone misled consumers into thinking that FibreX was a full fibre-optic broadband service (like those services delivered over the Government-subsidised Ultra-Fast Broadband network), when it is not.

The Commission also alleges that Vodafone’s website misled consumers about the options of broadband services (including full fibre-optic broadband) available at their addresses.

As this case is before the Court, the Commission cannot comment further at this time. This matter will be called in the Auckland District Court for the first time on 22 May 2018.

Background
FibreX is a broadband service delivered over Vodafone’s hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network. The HFC network uses both fibre-optic and copper cabling to deliver broadband to consumers’ homes.

By comparison, full fibre-optic broadband services are delivered over the Government-subsidised Ultra-Fast Broadband network which only uses fibre-optic cabling to deliver broadband to consumers’ homes

 

 





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  Reply # 1995222 13-Apr-2018 09:44
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Never saw this coming! NOT gets popcorn and waits

 

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  Reply # 1995224 13-Apr-2018 09:46
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Good on them. I kinda hope Vodafone get slapped with a massive fine. It is so misleading.

 


What did they think was going to happen when the marketing team came up with this name?

 

FibreX, Like Fibre, but not.




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  Reply # 1995229 13-Apr-2018 09:52
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trig42:

 

Good on them. I kinda hope Vodafone get slapped with a massive fine. It is so misleading.

 


What did they think was going to happen when the marketing team came up with this name?

 

FibreX, Like Fibre, but not.

 

 

"between 26 October 2016 and 28 March 2018"

 

Or, 18 months of sales. hopefully enough to pay for investment in cable, and the fine that's coming....





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  Reply # 1995232 13-Apr-2018 09:55
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Its about time, calling an HFC network "Fibre X" is a blatant attempt to confuse the general public into thinking they will get a FTTH fibre service when they re getting a co-ax copper service. If the Vodafone marketing was in any way valid then nearly all xDSL services could be called "Fibre Z" as the DSLAM/MSAN is almost always fibre fed.


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  Reply # 1995233 13-Apr-2018 09:59
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Excellent news.

 

I'm only surprised it took them this long. As I have opined elsewhere, VF's advertising goes well beyond puffery and is blatantly and deliberately deceptive. This has been complained about for some time, and VF has steadfastly refused to change. What they have been doing is pretty close to outright fraud.

 

I hope they get spanked for this, and don't just get away with a minor fine, and a promise to change their advertising and "review their practices" and not do it again.

 

I also think that if the Commission succeed in its prosecution then anyone on a FibreX term contract would have have a string case for existing early without penalty, and potentially getting all or some of what they had paid for the service refunded, on the basis that VF had deliberately duped them into purchasing a misrepresented product.

 

I'm likely moving house soon. With conduct like this, it's fair to say I won't be considering VF as a service provider at my new address.


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  Reply # 1995235 13-Apr-2018 10:02
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Good stuff.

 

I thought they had already done an investigation and decided it was OK though?


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  Reply # 1995241 13-Apr-2018 10:09
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I expect that the name FibreX is not the primary issue. It will be about the dubious practices to channel users onto it.


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  Reply # 1995260 13-Apr-2018 10:32
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Hammerer:

I expect that the name FibreX is not the primary issue. It will be about the dubious practices to channel users onto it.


I'm sure FibreX name will come into play. It's part of the marketing and positioning of the whole HFC product.

If they didn't call it FibreX or market it as Broadband that has some components being over fibre and mislead customers then the Comcom wouldn't be taking the action they are.

I'm just surprised it's taken this long.

It's not like Vodafone haven't been aggressively promoting FibreX in areas that UFB is being built and signing customers up to two year contracts with the first half of the contract being half price or similar.

I hope they get smacked hard for it.





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  Reply # 1995303 13-Apr-2018 10:57
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Good it is missleading, It 100% fooled 2 of my elderly relatives here Christchurch who got got FibreX. They thought the had hooked up to the fibre that enable had put in the street.


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  Reply # 1995352 13-Apr-2018 11:22
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@cruxis Get your relatives to give us a call or PM on Facebook and we can take a look.


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  Reply # 1995354 13-Apr-2018 11:24
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For those interested in our official response: https://news.vodafone.co.nz/article/vodafone-defend-fibrex-charges


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  Reply # 1995367 13-Apr-2018 11:47
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Used to work there, unbelievable how many customers thought they were actually on fibre. Disgraceful that Vodafone are even going to defend this. Just admit you stuffed up and apologize.


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  Reply # 1995374 13-Apr-2018 11:59
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noroad:

 

Its about time, calling an HFC network "Fibre X" is a blatant attempt to confuse the general public into thinking they will get a FTTH fibre service when they re getting a co-ax copper service. If the Vodafone marketing was in any way valid then nearly all xDSL services could be called "Fibre Z" as the DSLAM/MSAN is almost always fibre fed.

 

 

In many countries (including the UK) copper based FTTC services are sold as a "fibre" connection.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again now.. I actually don't see anything confusing about the FibreX product.

 

 


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  Reply # 1995377 13-Apr-2018 12:05
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sbiddle:

 

noroad:

 

Its about time, calling an HFC network "Fibre X" is a blatant attempt to confuse the general public into thinking they will get a FTTH fibre service when they re getting a co-ax copper service. If the Vodafone marketing was in any way valid then nearly all xDSL services could be called "Fibre Z" as the DSLAM/MSAN is almost always fibre fed.

 

 

I actually don't see anything confusing about the FibreX product.

 

 

 

 

And does the average customer have the same knowledge and expertise as you do?


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