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# 28955 17-Dec-2008 09:24
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Given all the grief that Vodafone NZ gives out, I just though some people might want to hear what Vodafone is OZ is being reported in the media as doing, 


http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24812183-1243,00.html
 

STAFF at a major telco company refused to sell a mobile phone to a stay-at-home mum because she didn't have a real job.

Lyndal Fair, 36, a mother of three, said she was shocked and embarrassed when staff at a Vodafone store told her they didn't sell phones to full-time mums.


Staff instead suggested she ask her husband to buy the phone for her under his own name.


"I really felt like a second-class citizen for the first time since becoming a mum," Ms Fair said. "I couldn't believe it. It was like being back in the '50s.


"For anyone to suggest that being a mum isn't a real job is just ridiculous. I thought we'd gone past this sort of outdated way of thinking. Obviously the message hasn't got through at Vodafone."


Ms Fair is a full-time homemaker for husband Michael and their three children - Hannah, 8, Nicholas, 6, and Gabrielle, 3.


She was lucky to be able to stay home to care for their children because Mr Fair earned a good wage as an industrial electrician.


"Being a mum is a full-time job and it's a very hard job - the hardest job you can have - because if you get it wrong, the ramifications for everyone are enormous," Ms Fair said.


She tried to buy the mobile phone on Monday at a Vodafone shop in Geelong's Bay City Plaza.


"They asked for my details - my home number, my work number - and I told them I don't have a separate work number because I'm a mum. That's when she said 'We have a problem'," Ms Fair said.


Vodafone spokesman Greg Spears yesterday confirmed the no-housewives rule and said getting a man to buy the phone instead was the quickest fix.


The policy was meant to stop people signing up for phones they couldn't afford and unfortunately didn't take into account that many stay-at-home mums weren't short of cash.


Eva Cox, of the Women's Electoral Lobby, said the company should be ashamed. She called on women to boycott Vodafone until it changed the policy.


"They need to be careful that Vodafone don't get a black ban after this, or a pink ban, if you want to call it that," Ms Cox said.


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  # 184714 17-Dec-2008 09:46
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I don't see the problem with this.  No company will provide a service to a customer who doesn't have the money to pay for it.  That's not to say that stay at home mum's don't have money, but they don't have the criteria required to prove to a company that they can pay their monthly bills.   No paid employment + no work contact details = no service.  It's the same for mums, dads, and everyone inbetween that can't prove they can pay their bills.  Vodafone are looking out for themselves here which is fair IMO.

What's to stop her gettin a Prepay anyway?

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  # 184715 17-Dec-2008 09:51
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I think the whole problem is "Vodafone store told her they didn't sell phones to full-time mums." instead of saying "Sorry we can't sell without an employment contract".




 
 
 
 


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  # 184719 17-Dec-2008 09:54
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freitasm: I think the whole problem is "Vodafone store told her they didn't sell phones to full-time mums." instead of saying "Sorry we can't sell without an employment contract".


That in itself is hearsay.  What she heard may not necessarily be what was said to her, which in turn may not be what the journalist interpreted.  Who know's what was actually said, I could see the store rep possibly saying this though given the calibre of staff Vodafone seem to hire - ie, not very high calibre :)

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  # 184720 17-Dec-2008 10:00
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Unfortunately this is a case of communication problem - we're not entirely sure what the store staff said to her. The stay-at-home mum said "They said their computers just don't allow it". That's gotta be one of the worst explanation possible! Wouldn't hurt if their "computers" provide some sort of logical explanation for the users such as the store staff in question.

Did anyone see Little Britain USA last week or the week before? Reminds me of a skit they had where an obviously pregnant and overdue woman had major problems seeing her doctor. The obnoxious front desk wench said, in a slightly retarded patronising voice, "Computer said naaaah".... Tongue out




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  # 184723 17-Dec-2008 10:05
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dpw: Wouldn't hurt if their "computers" provide some sort of logical explanation for the users such as the store staff in question.


When have you ever known a computer to show a logical explanation for anything?! :D

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  # 184725 17-Dec-2008 10:12
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Computers may not provide info logical to users, but the usability designer could've added that sort of stuff in! I've always thought UI and usability design is a bit of a fluffy subject but it certainly has its uses Wink




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  # 184735 17-Dec-2008 11:15
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freitasm: I think the whole problem is "Vodafone store told her they didn't sell phones to full-time mums." instead of saying "Sorry we can't sell without an employment contract".


You shouldn't be taking things at face value, and from your comment it looks like you've been sucked in to reading exactly how the reporter wants you to read the story - I only hope you don't automatically believe everything else you see or read in the media.

Sure in this case there is obviously an issue, but there isn't a single quote from anyone at Vodafone, which suggests the reporter has simply made up the line "Vodafone spokesman Greg Spears yesterday confirmed the no-housewives rule and said getting a man to buy the phone instead was the quickest fix", or the reporter has taken answers from different questions to string together this statement.

Mr. Spears isn't quoted as saying this, I'm sure that if he did then it would have been printed as a quote. But as gehenna stated it's all hearsay which the media love to try and pass off as fact to suck people in to believing the story.

 
 
 
 




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  # 184741 17-Dec-2008 11:52
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No but if you read the article you have

"It's not an ideal situation. We're trying to fix it," Mr Spears said.

So it certainly sounds like there is a problem with their computer system refusing to process an application without a work phone number

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  # 184746 17-Dec-2008 12:28
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Luckily, Vodafone Australia offer similar pricing structure to both Prepaid and Pay-monthly subscribers, something which is all but a distant dream here..

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  # 184779 17-Dec-2008 14:50
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freitasm: I think the whole problem is "Vodafone store told her they didn't sell phones to full-time mums." instead of saying "Sorry we can't sell without an employment contract".


Makes sense to me. If she doesn't have an income I wouldn't want her to be the person held liable for incurred costs. After all - what if her hubby dies, wont pay etc...

She might have money, and so here perhaphs proof of income (not employement) is what is required. Either way a buisness that sells open-ended contract services to customer who have no income is a short lived one. After all - would you sell a contract cellphone to a 12 year old? No, you'd sell it to someone who you could rely on to pay the bill - it's simply risk managment.

I'd say that this is a pragmatic biz decission, but a badly handled customer-experience one. I hope VF can find a way of making this more customer friendly for real-world situations like the one mentioned.

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  # 184782 17-Dec-2008 15:09
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paradoxsm: Luckily, Vodafone Australia offer similar pricing structure to both Prepaid and Pay-monthly subscribers, something which is all but a distant dream here..


But most people do enter into term contracts.. simply because the concept of paying for a phone is foreign to many people. The expectation is that you enter into a term contract and you get a free phone. We are quite unique here in NZ in that it's typically only high end customers who will get free device, not Joe Average who spends $30 per month over a 24 month contract and always gets a free mid range phone worth A$500 - $700 range.

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