But imagine going to New World and finding every check out operator is dealing with a queue 100 people deep all of whom are asking "what time do you open" and "where can I find the cat food" and "can you tell me how much the cat food costs" and "why don't you sell more cat food" and you can't get to the check out with your groceries.
That's what the call centre's been like. We get millions of calls a month and of those, 95% are legitimate, but the remaining 5% are customers asking questions that they simply don't need a customer rep to answer. If we eliminate, or radically reduce, those 5% we will free up a significant number of call centre reps and their time. Time that's better spent answering questions that you can't find through other means, questions that need to be answered by a person.
The price, one dollar per call, is purely and simply there to be a barrier to stop the pointless calls. It's not a money-making scheme - the call centre rep's time is worth more than that per minute and typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.
That's why we're pushing self service. Most of our customers are quite happy using self service through the website, through the voice prompts and now through the Forum as well. And when you do need a customer rep, you'll get through in less than 45 minutes and the rep will be able to spend the time to get it right first time (our new metric - no more average call handling time but rather a qualitative measure based on getting the problem solved in one call).
Hope that helps, and thank you for posting a question instead of just venting... there's been a bit of that on other forums lately!
These comments actually don't add anything to the discussion, and don't help solve the problem, except for making the whole thing confrontational and make Vodafone shy away.