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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 29019 19-Dec-2008 17:03
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Some time ago,  I posted a question on this forum about switching iPhone plans. 

I wanted to know the skinny on moving from the iPhone $40 plan I signed for, up to the iPhone $60 and whether I could switch back later with no penalty. I went to the local vodafone store to inquire about this and was told that I could move up to the iPhone $60 plan and then switch back later with no penalty.

So, today after realising that I wasn't really using the extra minutes, I made a call to the Vodafone helpdesk to switch my plan back. I was told there would be a $100 dollar charge to do this. I then called the local Vodafone store thinking this was a mistake. They initially thought it would be free to make the switch, but found that their system was applying a $100 charge also.

It turns out that that there is actually a charge when switching back after all, which the Vodafone store person I spoke to was quite surprised about. This charge applies if someone moves up to a higher plan and then attempts to switch back down within 6 months. Apparently this was a recent development which no one really knew much about, but there was nothing they could do to help me.

I'm actually quite annoyed about this as I find that it's really hard to get accurate information from Vodafone. Despite my attempts to understand the process prior to making any switch, I have clearly been given inaccurate information. The website is less than clear about the mechanics of switching plans.

In fact, the prices displayed on the Vodafone website for switching iPhone plans are clearly inaccurate as they state there is a zero dollar charge for moving between iPhone 40 and iPhone 60.

I wanted to post this on this board in case this helps others in my situation and hopefully bring about clearer wording on the Vodafone website, especially under the iPhone plan section.

It's not the end of the world as I can switch plans back to iPhone $40 in Feb with no penalty, but my main issue is that the process is clearly confusing for customers as well as Vodafone staff. I do not believe I should be charged a $100 penalty fee for a switch that I only made because of the information I was told (which was incorrect), but it seems like more trouble than it's worth to pursue this.

Thanks for reading my rant.



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ajw

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  Reply # 185195 19-Dec-2008 19:08
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Vodafone should not get away with giving consumers false information. Why don't you make a detailed complaint to the Commerce Commission. This can be made by sending them an email.

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  Reply # 185199 19-Dec-2008 19:16
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Sounds like an honest mistake, not by you of course. If a mistake has been made then this should be very easy to fix. Vodafone store make the change and when the $100 is applied then the store will credit you this amount.

Seems simple to me.




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  Reply # 185211 19-Dec-2008 20:06
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I don't know about the VF website pricing and what's advertised there but it's unfair for you to blame VF. Your post says that you will be eligible to change plan in feburary. That means that you've had this plan for good 4months. Obviously changes would occur in 4months. Guy at VF store who gave you the info that it's free to change the plan was 4months ago. How can you blame the staff after 4 months when they have now introduced a fee recently. You weren't misled at all (not considering internet pricing here).

How can you expect VF staff or even VF to know what are they holding for future? It was free to change a plan when you asked, it's been 4 months and ploicy has changed. It's simple as that!

As for internet pricing, I just checked VF website and nowhere it says anything about that there will be no fees being charged if switching from iphone $40 to Iphone $60 or vice versa.




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Reply # 185232 20-Dec-2008 00:18
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billgates: I don't know about the VF website pricing and what's advertised there but it's unfair for you to blame VF. Your post says that you will be eligible to change plan in feburary. That means that you've had this plan for good 4months. Obviously changes would occur in 4months. Guy at VF store who gave you the info that it's free to change the plan was 4months ago. How can you blame the staff after 4 months when they have now introduced a fee recently. You weren't misled at all (not considering internet pricing here).

How can you expect VF staff or even VF to know what are they holding for future? It was free to change a plan when you asked, it's been 4 months and ploicy has changed. It's simple as that!

As for internet pricing, I just checked VF website and nowhere it says anything about that there will be no fees being charged if switching from iphone $40 to Iphone $60 or vice versa.


Come on billgates, the OP IMHO is acting like a reasonable customer, and Vodafone and or the Dealer should come to the party. It doesn't matter if a Vodafone or a Dealer provided incorrect information, Vodafone should be trying to save face, or if as you say the rules and fee's have changed, it should in an ideal world only apply from a set date forward, not to customers who have already changed their plan with the understanding they can change back without any fee.

Sorry but this is one big FAIL based on the information at hand.

nzbnw








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  Reply # 185240 20-Dec-2008 05:46
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Billgates - Your logic does not make sense. Even if he went in and changed plan up to $60 and it was advertised on the website that the fee would apply does not mean he is at fault. Customer went to VF store BEFORE he changed up so therefore the fact the store either mislead him or they misunderstood the rules should not disadvantage the customer.

This is not difficult.


Customer buys iphone on contract at $40 per month so therefore his discount on phone was not as high as someone who purchased iphone at $60 per month (speculation on iphone purchase price by me)

Goes into to store to change to higher $60 per month plan on the understanding that at a later date he could change back down without penalty and the store told him this was correct.

Obviously within 6 months customer realises that $60 plan not suitable but now finds out that VF have changed the rules and he has to pay $100 fee.

Solution A:

Store fixes problem and if necessary credit customer $100.

Solution B:

Customer makes official complaint, this will cost VF more than $100 probably just for the manager to call and if it was to go higher even more cost to VF. In the end commonsense will prevail and customer gets $100 credit or change plan for free.

Solution C:

Customer goes to Fair Go and Paul goes on TV again and gives $100 back and at the same time tries to smooth over the bad PR with an unknown cost to VF brand but I would guess it would be more than $100.

I would go back to store or ring VF and ask to speak to manager to make complaint. If you or I make a mistake we have to pay, so should VF. Its that simple.




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  Reply # 185244 20-Dec-2008 06:29
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The problem here is that what you want to do does actusally break your contract.

If you look at the Vodafone website it clearly says

You can upgrade or downgrade your current plan at any time. If you downgrade within 6 months of the start of your term, there will be an associated charge.



This has always been the case and is designed to stop people signing up on an expensive plan, getting free mins/airtime/phone and then cancelling this. It's not a new chance to the T&C.

What you want to do however is move back to your original plan, something that is in breach of your contract since it's within 6 months. IMHO Vodafone should let you do this because you're not dropping back below your original plan.


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  Reply # 185284 20-Dec-2008 11:52
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The contract was for $40, he is not downgrading from that so that clause is not relevent. If there was a credit against the phone price or something for an upgrade mid term then you would have a point, but the term was for 24 months of $40.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 185286 20-Dec-2008 12:03
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richms: The contract was for $40, he is not downgrading from that so that clause is not relevent. If there was a credit against the phone price or something for an upgrade mid term then you would have a point, but the term was for 24 months of $40.


But he did upgrade from that and now wants to downgrade. This is the issue here.

Vodafone prohibit downgrading your plan within the first 6 months, the fact here is that the OP obviously did upgrade their plan within the first 6 months and now wants to go back to the original plan. Vodafone should let them do this since their is no actual loss incurred by them but their T&C's clealy say you can't downgrade which doesn't factor in the upgrade that occured within this period so the downgrade isn't below the original contract amount.

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  Reply # 185288 20-Dec-2008 12:10
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To be clear, 6 months of the contract or from the plan change?

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  Reply # 185289 20-Dec-2008 12:13
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riahon:
Billgates - Your logic does not make sense. Even if he went in and changed plan up to $60 and it was advertised on the website that the fee would apply does not mean he is at fault. Customer went to VF store BEFORE he changed up so therefore the fact the store either mislead him or they misunderstood the rules should not disadvantage the customer.

This is not difficult.


Customer buys iphone on contract at $40 per month so therefore his discount on phone was not as high as someone who purchased iphone at $60 per month (speculation on iphone purchase price by me)

Goes into to store to change to higher $60 per month plan on the understanding that at a later date he could change back down without penalty and the store told him this was correct.

Obviously within 6 months customer realises that $60 plan not suitable but now finds out that VF have changed the rules and he has to pay $100 fee.

Solution A:

Store fixes problem and if necessary credit customer $100.

Solution B:

Customer makes official complaint, this will cost VF more than $100 probably just for the manager to call and if it was to go higher even more cost to VF. In the end commonsense will prevail and customer gets $100 credit or change plan for free.

Solution C:

Customer goes to Fair Go and Paul goes on TV again and gives $100 back and at the same time tries to smooth over the bad PR with an unknown cost to VF brand but I would guess it would be more than $100.

I would go back to store or ring VF and ask to speak to manager to make complaint. If you or I make a mistake we have to pay, so should VF. Its that simple.


It was free to change the plan when OP asked for it 4 months ago. If there is a signed contract when he downgraded/upgraded the plan that the fee would remain free then VF has to honour the free upgrade/downgrade. AFAIK VF and Customer has signed no contract which states the free downgrade/upgrade. Staff at VF store said 4 months ago that yes it was free to change plan. Yes it was free to change plan 4 months ago. But now it's not. They have a fee associated.

You go to a local dairy, ask for a price of a loaf of bread and it's $2 as told by the shop keeper. Come back after 4 months and now it's $2.30. Do you expect shop keeper to honour the $2 price? Seriously it's common sense. Fair Go, CGA are abused like anything in NZ.




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 185290 20-Dec-2008 12:21
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billgates:
It was free to change the plan when OP asked for it 4 months ago. If there is a signed contract when he downgraded/upgraded the plan that the fee would remain free then VF has to honour the free upgrade/downgrade. AFAIK VF and Customer has signed no contract which states the free downgrade/upgrade. Staff at VF store said 4 months ago that yes it was free to change plan. Yes it was free to change plan 4 months ago. But now it's not. They have a fee associated.

You go to a local dairy, ask for a price of a loaf of bread and it's $2 as told by the shop keeper. Come back after 4 months and now it's $2.30. Do you expect shop keeper to honour the $2 price? Seriously it's common sense. Fair Go, CGA are abused like anything in NZ.


Hold on, so you now think that this makes it all ok?

You can't compare goods and services here. Fine Vodafone have changed their fee structure, but existing customers who changed plans under the old structure, should not be penalised or be any worse off!

Try taking your Vodafone hat off for one moment here and look at it from the customers perspective!!!

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  Reply # 185292 20-Dec-2008 12:28
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nzbnw:
billgates:
It was free to change the plan when OP asked for it 4 months ago. If there is a signed contract when he downgraded/upgraded the plan that the fee would remain free then VF has to honour the free upgrade/downgrade. AFAIK VF and Customer has signed no contract which states the free downgrade/upgrade. Staff at VF store said 4 months ago that yes it was free to change plan. Yes it was free to change plan 4 months ago. But now it's not. They have a fee associated.

You go to a local dairy, ask for a price of a loaf of bread and it's $2 as told by the shop keeper. Come back after 4 months and now it's $2.30. Do you expect shop keeper to honour the $2 price? Seriously it's common sense. Fair Go, CGA are abused like anything in NZ.


Hold on, so you now think that this makes it all ok?

You can't compare goods and services here. Fine Vodafone have changed their fee structure, but existing customers who changed plans under the old structure, should not be penalised or be any worse off!

Try taking your Vodafone hat off for one moment here and look at it from the customers perspective!!!

nzbnw


There was no signed contract in the first place which clarified that yep, upgrades/downgrades will be free of charge. According to your argument, VF will have to offer free upgrades/downgrades to customers for life who are existing customer even though there is no signed contract. Service fees goes up and down from time to time.

If you want an example of a service then how about a PC repairer charging $40/hr 4 months ago and now charging $60/hr 4 months later? Do you expect to be charged $40/hr after 4 months to fix your broken PC?




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 185296 20-Dec-2008 12:37
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billgates:
There was no signed contract in the first place which clarified that yep, upgrades/downgrades will be free of charge. According to your argument, VF will have to offer free upgrades/downgrades to customers for life who are existing customer even though there is no signed contract. Service fees goes up and down from time to time.

If you want an example of a service then how about a PC repairer charging $40/hr 4 months ago and now charging $60/hr 4 months later? Do you expect to be charged $40/hr after 4 months to fix your broken PC?


Come on, contract or not, Vodafone should be seeking to resolve this problem for the customer and save face. I didn't say they should offer upgrades and downgrades at no cost, I just think if they (Vodafone) or their dealers inform a customer it is not going to cost to move back to your original plan, then they should honour that.

For me this just really identifies the hard nose business approach Vodafone takes. It’s certainly not doing them any favours either.

Keep your customers happy


nzbnw








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  Reply # 185298 20-Dec-2008 12:43
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nzbnw:  Fine Vodafone have changed their fee structure, but existing customers who changed plans under the old structure, should not be penalised or be any worse off!



Can anybody actually confirm Vodafone have changed their fee structure or T&C? I don't believe they have. My understanding from when I last signed a contract 2 years ago was that I could not downgrade my plan within 6 months of signing or I would face fees. There was no fee for moving up but there was a fee for moving down.

I believe Vodafone should permit this downgrade because the condition the OP is falling foul of is not what it was intended to stop. It's there to stop people signing up, getting a very cheap phone and then downgrading plan below the one they signed with. It shouldn't be there to stop somebody who wants to move up and then back down but to their original base plan, not below it.

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  Reply # 185300 20-Dec-2008 12:45
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sbiddle:
nzbnw:  Fine Vodafone have changed their fee structure, but existing customers who changed plans under the old structure, should not be penalised or be any worse off!



Can anybody actually confirm Vodafone have changed their fee structure or T&C? I don't believe they have. My understanding from when I last signed a contract 2 years ago was that I could not downgrade my plan within 6 months of signing or I would face fees. There was no fee for moving up but there was a fee for moving down.


Just to be clear, I wasn't trying to say they have, just in reference to billgates argument.

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