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137 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 23890 10-Jul-2008 19:48
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Got sick of preaching to the converted so wrote directly to the boss....

Imagine my surprise to actually get a response a couple of hours later, admittedly not from the big guy, but still.

I urge others to write to Russell Stanners and (politely) convey your dismay at the plans.

The response was pure PR spin and entirely ignored the elephant in the room of low data allowances.....but I feel like I've vented now.

His email is russell.stanners@vodafone.com

Remember Canadians managed to change Rogers attitude.......

Also, a particularly honest and extremely helpful Tier 2 Vodafone CSR let slip when I called that "the plans on the website were a trial" and "changes might be made".....take of that what you like.

Email transcripts below.

 From: 
> Sent: Thursday, 10 July 2008 12:55 p.m.
> To: Stanners, Russell, VF-NZ
> Subject: iPhone plans
>
>
> Dear Russell,
>
> My apologies for bothering you, but sometimes a message sent
> straight to the top is heard the loudest.
>
> I, like many others, was extremely disappointed to read the
> details of Vodafone's iPhone plans released this week.
>
> I appreciate the message your team have attempted to get out
> to the public that these plans offer far better value than
> what is currently on offer.
>
> However, I strongly feel that you have ignored the main
> strength of the iPhone which is it's groundbreaking ability
> to make the mobile internet accessible.
>
> The data caps offered severely hamper the ability to realise
> that strength.
>
> My wife and I spend a combined total of approximately
> $100/month with Vodafone on our current TXTer plans and would
> both have eagerly signed up to the $80 iPhone plans if not
> for the lack of data allocated.
>
> I was dissapointed to hear Mark Rushworth's disingenuous
> comments on Campbell Live that data costs a lot to get to New Zealand.
>
> Vodafone has showed already through the "double your data for
> $10" that in fact mobile data is in fact affordable.
>
> I would loved to have gone out on Friday and purchased 2
> iPhones but unfortunately with the current data offerings
> available, it's not to be.
>
> Please, as a number of other international telcos have done,
> reconsider the current makeup of the plans and watch the
> negative PR disappear and the phones fly off the shelf faster
> than you can get them in.
>
> Yours,

And the response....

Good afternoon xxxxxx,

Thanks for your email to Russell.

We are glad to hear that you have taken up on TXTer as it is truly a bundle of great value with:

+ 60 minutes of calling per month (to any NZ number)
+ 600 TXTs per month (to any NZ mobile)
+ 1 BestMate (unlimited calling to a VF mobile of your choice)

 

The great news about getting an iPhone from Vodafone is that you have great choice and CAN actually customise a plan to suit your needs.  Based on your usage mentioned below, our proposed solution for your needs would be:

1) TXTer 60 (which you and your wife are already on)
2) 200 MB of broadband data (additional $29.95 per month)

The bundle above, customised according to your needs will only cost you a total of $69.90 per month for a 24 month commitment, less than the $80 you expected to pay.  Furthermore, if you wish to upgrade to the iPhone 1GB data plan in the future.

 

If you are eligible for re-sign your contract (check in-store), walk into store and ask to re-sign and you will get a handset subsidy off the iPhone RRP.  If you are not eligible for re-sign,  you can still use your existing TXTer plan with the iPhone. To do this you just need to:

+ Purchase the iPhone at full Recommended Retail Price (RRP)
+ Add a compatible broadband for mobile plan, either the 200MB or 1GB plan (24 month term)

We at Vodafone NZ are passionate about our customers and are always striving to cater to customer needs - hence the availability and flexibility on a wide range of products including You Choose / TXTer / Talker / Data plans.  We will continue to put customers first by introducing more great products and services into New Zealand in the future, just like we did with Family, BestMates, TXT2000, Video Calling, TXTing, Prepay, Global Roaming, and so on.

We wish you all the best in getting your hands on the iPhone you've been waiting for from Vodafone NZ, and look forward to serving you going forward.


Kind Regards,

Jin

Jin Wan | Product Manager - On Account | +64 21 628 647 | jin.wan@vodafone.com

Vodafone NZ | Level 2 @ v.nue | 20 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Private Bag 92161 | Auckland 1142

 

 

My subsequent email....

Thankyou Jin for replying so quickly.

Although I appreciate what you have conveyed I was aware of my options. 

They don't add up.

The message I was trying to get across is that 250MB on the base plan simply isn't enough.

I would happily forgo the extra 60mins of calling time, valued at $20 per month (according to the $$ difference between the Choose 60 and Choose 120 plans) for the difference between 250MB and 1GB (also valued by vodafone at $20 based on the difference between the 200MB and 1GB broadband plans)

Yet this option is elusively not available...why not?

So...Vodafone won't get an extra $80/month of revenue from the xxxxxx family. 

I will be first in line to buy 2 x 16GB handsets when Vodafone realise the importance of data to the iPhone.

Yours,



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Geek


  Reply # 146338 10-Jul-2008 20:10
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Thanks for the info. Suprising they actually replied. I'm holding onto a whim of hope that these plans are infact "trials", and that VFNZ soon realise their mistake.

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  Reply # 146349 10-Jul-2008 20:19
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Believe it or not but I wrote the following to Richard Branson about 5hours ago in an e-mail....

Dear Mr. Branson/Virgin Mobile. I am e-mailing from a very Isolated country named New Zealand. Kiwis need your Virgin Mobile company just like you launched Virgin Airlines (pacific blue) in NZ. We are being ripped off by both mobile carriers that we have. One is a Ex-State owned now owned by private share holders in the US and the other is Vodafone. Iphone 3G data plans were released by Vodafone last week and they are out of reach for 95% Kiwis. Calling is expensive here. It's cheaper to ring from Africa to NZ then it is from NZ to Afrcia. We are suffering from over priced mobile service and broadband service. Only you can save this country now Mr.Branson/Virgin Mobile. Please and please come to NZ and introduce Virgin Mobile to this country and show the kiwis what competetion really means. Every one who is on Telecom NZ Network (Ex- State owned) or the Vodafone network will join Virgin Mobile without thinking twice. Rescue us because we all want to use the new 3G Iphone and have cheaper broadband and calling. I know this is a long shot that this will ever be read by Mr.Branson/Virgin Mobile executives but I have hope. If you are a employee reading this and think this is a joke, well it isn't. Just google iphone 3g in NZ and read the forums. Therefore I ask you on behalf of 4.3 million kiwis that come down to NZ and launch Virgin Mobile. Please pass this to the higher authority and have a serious consideration. I wrote this to Mr.Branson because he was the first person that came to my mind that can do such a daring thing and open up a third network in an Isolated country. I will be waiting......

 

I did indeed had drunk 4 beers by the time I sent this e-mail!





Do whatever you want to do man.

  

 
 
 
 


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Geek


Reply # 146356 10-Jul-2008 20:23
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billgates: Believe it or not but I wrote the following to Richard Branson about 5hours ago in an e-mail....

Dear Mr. Branson/Virgin Mobile. I am e-mailing from a very Isolated country named New Zealand. Kiwis need your Virgin Mobile company just like you launched Virgin Airlines (pacific blue) in NZ. We are being ripped off by both mobile carriers that we have. One is a Ex-State owned now owned by private share holders in the US and the other is Vodafone. Iphone 3G data plans were released by Vodafone last week and they are out of reach for 95% Kiwis. Calling is expensive here. It's cheaper to ring from Africa to NZ then it is from NZ to Afrcia. We are suffering from over priced mobile service and broadband service. Only you can save this country now Mr.Branson/Virgin Mobile. Please and please come to NZ and introduce Virgin Mobile to this country and show the kiwis what competetion really means. Every one who is on Telecom NZ Network (Ex- State owned) or the Vodafone network will join Virgin Mobile without thinking twice. Rescue us because we all want to use the new 3G Iphone and have cheaper broadband and calling. I know this is a long shot that this will ever be read by Mr.Branson/Virgin Mobile executives but I have hope. If you are a employee reading this and think this is a joke, well it isn't. Just google iphone 3g in NZ and read the forums. Therefore I ask you on behalf of 4.3 million kiwis that come down to NZ and launch Virgin Mobile. Please pass this to the higher authority and have a serious consideration. I wrote this to Mr.Branson because he was the first person that came to my mind that can do such a daring thing and open up a third network in an Isolated country. I will be waiting......

 

I did indeed had drunk 4 beers by the time I sent this e-mail!



Stupendous! XD Worth a hearty laugh and something to hold onto. Hope this reaches him

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  Reply # 146605 11-Jul-2008 09:46
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billgates:  I wrote this to Mr.Branson because he was the first person that came to my mind that can do such a daring thing and open up a third network in an Isolated country. I will be waiting......

 

Where Virgin operates they are no more than MVNOs - i.e. they resell services from an existing network. TelstraClear already does that here (albeit for business customers only at the moment).

Why not write a letter to NZ Communications, which is well on its way to building a real-live third competive network? 





 

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Geek


  Reply # 146926 11-Jul-2008 18:18
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Wow - I have watched the iPhone hype with much amusement!

Apple's marketing appears to have removed the reasoning component of most peoples brains and it's really demonstrated how we are led by the sensasionalised journalism in NZ.

Some food for thought if your actually trying to understand what's going on and not just wanting to vent that you can't have something you want because you don't have enough money to have it.

1) I haven't seen Apple mentioned at all in all the hype...but wasn't it Steve Jobs that set the expectation of the pricing first?

2) I was in a meeting with a Vodafone Account Manager just last week and it sounded a lot like they hadn't been given the imformation from Apple yet. I called him up today and apparently they only arrived yesterday, so it's hardly surprising everyone in the company isn't up to speed yet (I wouldn't believe anything that a CSR says though...they will be the last to find out).

3) If these are the most subsidised phones with the lowest rates in NZ as Vodafone has indicated (I'll have to do the maths on that one), why is everyone not asking why mobile data costs what it does in NZ? Wouldn't it be in any companies interests (Telecom and Vodafone) to sell this for the lowest price they can. I mean thats their business model for everything else, so perhaps there is a reason. I think we should put together some intelligent questions and send them to Mr Stanners or the product manager's email above and and enter into a debate about why it costs so much here I'm sure there is enough combined intelligence here that a few cycles of email back and forth could get to the root cause and break past the spin barrier.

4) Why is everyone in the Media going on about the toal contract cost of an iPhone when that's basically "If you spend $x thousand over x years we will reward your purchase of a device with a big subsidy" if you don't, well you will have to pay what it costs. This isn't new, my 750v is just going out of contract and cost more than the iPhone!!

I'm about to follow suit and rather than have a moan about why I think it should cost less because that suits me...I am going to be a little more constructive and suggest that Vodafone should add a rate plan that has the low voice usage and high data volume, I mean that's what I want and what everyone is asking for right!?  If they can supply that for something I can afford then I will go out and think about one of these toys. Otherwise I'll wait until I can afford it (luckily the prices only seem to head in one direction so it might be a couple of years, but time flies right!)

Food for thought anyway!

I liked the TV3 interview this morning though...not biased either way.

-BB


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  Reply # 147415 13-Jul-2008 15:16
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Just got a reply from Virgin after 5 days...going to write the same letter to the recommended link they have provided...


Hi XXXXX,

Thanks for your email to Virgin Mobile to let us know you'd like Richard to launch Virgin Mobile in New Zealand.

It's taken us a little longer than usual for us to get back to you and for this we'd like to apologise.

Virgin is famous for its down-to-earth good value and service, so all new ideas will need to reflect these values. We also have great sense of fun, and we like to do things just a little bit differently from the rest.

Here in the UK we help our customers here in the UK about their problems and queries with their mobile phone service.

It would be great if you forward your idea on to the relevant people, just go to http://www.virgin.com/aboutvirgin/gotabigidea/default.asp

Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch, we really appreciate it!

Kind regards,

XXXXXXXXX
Virgin Mobile




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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