Staying a Vodafone customer can sometimes be difficult.

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 9-Apr-2007 20:01

I decided it was about time to go and change my mobile plan and sign up for You Choose, primarily because although I'll still be spending the same it will give me more for my money. I popped into my local Vodafone store at Westfield Queensgate today and asked the friendly staff member what deals were available.

"We have the Choose 60 with the free Motorola V360v on a 12 month contract and free TXT2000 for 12 months"

I said I was interested in a 3G device and that I didn't actually want a new phone because my existing V600i phone which I paid $749 for still worked perfectly well but I wanted the extra 25% airtime and would therefore buy a phone and sell it if there were any deals since they couldn't give me the extra 25% airtime without buying a new phone.

The staff member then pointed out a Motorola 3G device (can't recall exact model) that was normally $399 but was available for $99 which got me interested. He then asked me if I was an existing Vodafone customer to which I said yes. He then asked me if I was on prepay or on account to which I responsed that I was on an account.

"Oh I'm sorry these deals are only available to new customers not resigns"

The response dumbfounded me. Why bother with all the advertising if it's not available to resigns? All this says to me is that we don't value your business and would be happy to see you port your number to Telecom and take your business with you.

So I asked what deals were available to me as an existing customer and he wasn't quite sure if there were any but headed over to a PC to have a look.

First stop was the site. Every must remember right? Vodafone spend loads of money sending all their on account customers out a nice metal plate towards the end of last year with a unique login to thank them for being a Vodafone customer

To say ‘thanks’ for being with Vodafone we’ve given you a with some great offers just for you. Once you receive your combination via TXT, you’ll be able to log in to your and see what great offers we’ve put together for you.

I mentioned the website has had no deals, news or competitions or infact anything worthy of even reading for several months now.. after sending the new password to my phone and logging in it didn't take long before he realised the same thing. Looks like marketing wasted a fair few $$ there, it's no wonder airtime in NZ is so expensive.

He then asked me if I had checked out the site to which I responded that I had tried it several times recently and got a mesage saying they were working on the site and to come back soon. He then tried the site himself to be greeted with the same message. Reading the blurb instore this site will offer customers deals for new phones based upon the amount of time they have been a customer and the amount they spend. Sounds like a great idea.. Just a shame it doesn't work.

He seemed a bit embarrased himself by now that nothing seemed to work and asked me how long I'd been a Vodafone customer for to which I responded just over 11 years. His response was that he was sure there would be some deals available for me and said he would try looking up my account on their computer...

2 computers and a CRTL-ALT-DEL later he then came to the conclusion that their was a fault somewhere with the system and he was unable to look up my details at present. After a short discussion he told me to keep trying the website to see what deals where on offer first and to come back into the store at a later date if I couldn't access it and he would see what sort of deal he could do for me.

Now I know I love mocking Vodafone but the simple fact is that most of the time they deserve it. Despite this Vodafone is a brand that I truely admire and to be completely honest is a company I would love to work for because there are so many simple things that could be fixed to make the whole "Vodafone experience" a far more rewarding adventure. My experience today however almost left me lost for words. The guy at the store was great but I'm sure he wasn't happy with what happened.

All I want to do is feel like I'm getting myself a deal. I'm not expecting a free $1000 handset. I'm not even expecting a free handset at all. I honestly don't even want buy a new phone. I just want to sign up for You Choose and get the extra 25% airtime for signing up with a 3G device but somebody decided the phone had to be purchased at the same time as you sign up. Because I was stupid enough to pay $749 buying an unsubsidised V600i within days of the 3G network launch to have the latest and greatest toys I'm effectively being penalised. Vodafone will only give me the extra 25% airtime if I go and buy a new subsidised phone. Why not just give customers the 25% extra airtime if they are already using a Vodafone NZ new 3G device?

How can a company be so dysfunctional and still have customers?

How long will it take before actually works?

Do Vodafone actually care about their existing customers?

Will anybody at Vodafone respond to this?

Check in next week for the latest.

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sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems. I'll also a co-founder of the travel site. 

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at