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Topic # 27546 30-Oct-2008 11:16
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I have been an ihug/vodafone customer since November 1995, but I can't take it any more.  Truly, since Vodafone has bought ihug my customer satisfaction level has dropped markedly. The final straw is being forced to move to a plan with 25% of my previous data cap (20GB vs 80GB), or - for the same price I'm paying now - 50% of my current cap. This is because I'm unfortunate enough to live in a "Red Zone" - which although, according to Vodafone's website promises "better value", "maximum upload and download speeds" and "better service," it actually delivers none of these.

"Better Value" - for around $130/month I will get 40GB cap instead of the old 80GB cap - so by any definition it is not.
"Maximum upload and download speeds" - currently I get 2Mb/128kb, but because I'm 3.5km from the exchange with bad wiring this is about all I can expect anyway
"Better service" - what - are wait times on the help desk queue suddenly going to decrease because I'm now in the Red Zone?

Every single time ihug or vodafone has forced me to change plans over the years, (about 4 or 5 times now) it has been to worse conditions. This is strange in an industry that should progress markedly in the other direction. However it's never been to my detriment quite so much. I've had a gutsfull and it looks like Orcon have a much better offer for the same price.

Vodafone are not only losing the $2000 odd I spend on phone and internet a year, but I also put around another 20 customers their way a year, which obviously they won't be getting now.

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  Reply # 174590 30-Oct-2008 11:32

Hi Amorangi,

Sorry to see you go. But I'm not sure which plan you're on or why you're paying $130/month.

Our Red Network Ulitmate plan is $90/month for 20GB of data, plus another 20GB for $30... so you can get 40GB for $120 and that INCLUDES your land line rental. That's a good price in the market.

And if your upload speed is only 128k that sounds to me like you're not properly Max/Max, which will affect your download speed as well, so there may be something that can be done about that.

Sadly, there's not much any of us can do about your distance to the exchange.

Cheers

Paul




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  Reply # 174592 30-Oct-2008 11:38
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So you were previously on the heavy 2mbps plan? (40+40 for $90/month)

While I understand that the new packs are restrictive...
  • Red network customers get to use a different help line
  • the Ultimate pack (20GB) one does have phone and internet for $90 (so $40 for phone and $50 for internet) which is good in comparison to others in the market at the moment as they're mainly marketing Full Speed download connections
  • why don't you get someone to look at your phone line if you know that there is bad wiring? That can dramatically improve phone line quality and your broadband speeds.

    Being on the Red network and 3.5km away from the exchange could mean that you can get around 5-6mbps.
... but I can't hold you back if you really need to change.

That's also why quite a lot of heavy users have pretty much dismissed Vodafone's offerings, and I'm nearly hitting the 40GB mark myself.




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  Reply # 174593 30-Oct-2008 11:46
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I was on Broadband Heavy, which gave me 80GB/month for $90. I don't really care about upload speeds - 128kb up suits me fine, as does 2Mb down. I can potentially get up to 3Mb down here, but the difference in page-load times between these 2 speeds is minimal, and since both plans are capped speed is redundant for file downloads. ISPs make a big thing about potential speeds, but for 99.9% of people whether a web page loads in 0.75 seconds at 3Mb/s or 0.9 seconds at 2Mb/s is not percievable. To anyone moderately technically literate speed is NOT the issue in NZ - the caps are the issue! Cutting my cap in half - with absolutely no way of retaining it -  is a guaranteed way to lose my business.



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  Reply # 174597 30-Oct-2008 11:56
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  • why don't you get someone to look at your phone line if you know that there is bad wiring? That can dramatically improve phone line quality and your broadband speeds.
After 2 years of regularly complaining to Vodafone that the wiring to my house was faulty (I was getting 1Mb/s) it finally died altogether and only then was someone sent to fix it. I complained once every  couple of months, ran all the pointless tests they asked proving there was indeed a fault, and NOTHING  was ever done. When it died and a technician was sent to fix it numerous faults were found in the underground cables to my house. But the key thing is Vodafone ignored 2 years of ignored and proven valid complaints.

Grievances sent internally to Vodafone staff are ignored, which is a large part of why I am airing them here.

 

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  Reply # 174653 30-Oct-2008 16:10
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Playing the devil's advocate here....

How are you legally using 80gb per month as a residential user?
Are you aware that international bandwidth to the US can cost ISP's around $100 per 1Mbit/sec?
Did you know that residential ADSL is a shared bandwidth service with no gauranteeded level of service?
Have you considered that the huge drop in the NZ dollar has increased the cost of international bandwidth for ISP's when their contracts with upstream carriers come up?
Do you realise bandwidth capping is one of the more equitable ways to restrict usage of a scare bandwidth resource compared to say rate shaping all bit torrent traffic?
If you were unhappy with ihug/vodafone's service why didn't you leave earlier?
If your expectation of 80gb per month for $90 is realistic and viable why is no ISP offering anything near that type of plan?

With that over with....

In your situation >3km from the exchange I would not change to Orcon either until sub loop unbundling policy is decided (sometime next year).  You will not benefit from Telecom/Chorus cabinetization in your area if you are on an ISP with equipment in the exchange as you can not retain service via the ISP and be connected via the cabinet (giving you a huge sync speed boost) until sub loop unbundling is finalized.





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  Reply # 174662 30-Oct-2008 16:35
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I do a lot of work from home, and a lot of it involves being informed and up to date with software, so I try out a lot of demos and distros etc. My family are from overseas, so they enjoy watching shows and listening to radio from their country of origin. I don't get Sky and our tv reception could be better, but even without torrents there is a lot of online content available nowadays. Perhaps you have missed the advertising on TV regarding access to shows online. I feel sorry for people on their miserly 200MB cap.
In response to your other statement, Orcon seem to be able to provide 100GB + phone (so say about $40-$50 worth) for $140/month.  The cost to ISPs for bandwidth becomes even more irrelevant when Vodafone finally gets it's own hardware in exchanges and so should be even more able to avoid Telecom's extortionate rates. I'm not excusing Telecom in any way or form - having worked in the Heart of the Beast I am fully aware of what their costs are and what they charge. And till very recently changing providers meant very little, since Telecom dictated what everyone had to pay. Vodafone have had a marvelous opportunity to shake up the market, instead they are going along with the overpriced schemes of the dominant player. It's a lot like the mobile market and the oil market in NZ - it's as close to a cartel as you are going to get and remain legal.

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  Reply # 174667 30-Oct-2008 16:55
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amorangi: ...  The cost to ISPs for bandwidth becomes even more irrelevant when Vodafone finally gets it's own hardware in exchanges ..


International bandwidth cost is a seperate thing completely from adsl wholesale pricing, national bandwidth, backhaul from the exchange to vodafone's network for most ISP's.

At the moment ISP's pay Telecom for wholesale adsl or install their own equipment and pay telecom (usually) for backhaul to their handover point (for ihug/voda this is mayoral drive in Auckland I think) then they add their margin on top which covers staffing cost, equipment costs, national peering costs, international bandwidth costs and of course some amount of profit.

People have an expectation that some how prices should go down yet staff costs are naturally increasing all the time and in recent times cost of bandwidth will rise as the NZ dollar falls.

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  Reply # 174669 30-Oct-2008 17:03
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A bit off topic but I spent half an hour browsing through the vodafone forum site this morning.

If you think your story is bad have a read at what others have gone through!

To Paul's credit he did apologise in several threads and as soon as he became aware of what had happened appeared to fire a rocket in the right direction.

I read on stuff the other day that telco's in Aussie are receiving record complaint numbers and I suspect it may be the same over here, especially with the $1 help charge etc with vf.

Will things ever change with regard to customer service when telco's are making hundreds of millions in profit every year? I think not.

No company should be allowed to get away with failing to answer email or failing to call back customers but they do because most of the time the grass isn't greener so as a customer what do you do?

I'm not trying to bash vf, in fact my home line/cell and adsl is with vf but sometimes it seems telco's run a very close parallel to oil companies.....

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  Reply # 174699 30-Oct-2008 18:14
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Amorangi, all of what you say is true and I do feel bad for you. However, while your cap is being cut drastically, it's still better than anything else you'll find on the market right now. The only reason for you switching is for the big "F*** YOU!" gesture, but that's kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for dramatic fits of moral outrage, but, for whatever reason, the market has turned in this direction and I suggest embracing it and finding the best plan now.

Lastly, check your original contract and make sure Vodafone is actually allowed to force you to change plans. Telecom seems to still begrudgingly support their unlimited legacy plan.

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  Reply # 174708 30-Oct-2008 18:40
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Vodafone T&Cs say that they only need to give you 30 days notice before a plan change.

· We reserve the right to change the nature of a plan (speed, data, price) with one month’s written notice. plan speed refers to the maximum speed - actual speed depends on a variety of factors and some customers may never achieve maximum speed




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  Reply # 174713 30-Oct-2008 19:03
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I'm over my anger now that I've found a better plan at their competitors. I've stuck with ihug/vodafone largely for sentimental reasons. Prior to my ihug account I used IBM to surf gopher at $10/MB! I think I was more angry because I really used to like Vodafone as a company - if it was Telecom doing the exact same thing I'd have expected nothing less.
I've nothing against their call centre staff - I have to deal with a lot of ISPs, and they are generally ok, but the policies they have to deal with are a problem. (The same cannot be said for their Egyptian call centre for mobile, whose staff are the most rude and belligerent I've come across).

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  Reply # 174720 30-Oct-2008 19:56

So where are you going?




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  Reply # 174745 30-Oct-2008 21:52
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(The same cannot be said for their Egyptian call centre for mobile, whose staff are the most rude and belligerent I've come across).

 

I know exactly what you mean. I think it is partly a culture thing. They are not exactly 'warm and friendly' when I have dealt with them. Which ISP have you switched too?


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  Reply # 174746 30-Oct-2008 21:54
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(The same cannot be said for their Egyptian call centre for mobile, whose staff are the most rude and belligerent I've come across).

Eqyptian call centre?  I regularly have to call Vodafone mobile due to their general incompetence, but have never spoken to an Egyptian - I think I'd have noticed!




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  Reply # 174815 31-Oct-2008 10:10
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manhinli: Vodafone T&Cs say that they only need to give you 30 days notice before a plan change.

· We reserve the right to change the nature of a plan (speed, data, price) with one month’s written notice. plan speed refers to the maximum speed - actual speed depends on a variety of factors and some customers may never achieve maximum speed


Those are Vodafone's T&C's. He signed up under Ihug's.

I'll +1 that that call centre is NOT friendly.

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