How hard can it be for a telco to provide accurate usage information for customers? That's a question I've been asking myself for the past 3 1/2 years every time I try to check my usage balance on my You Choose plan.
One of my You Choose addons is Your Time 200. This offers my 200 minutes of calling to other Vodafone mobiles between 7pm and 7am weeknights, and all weekend. This addon differs from all other Your Time addons that include calls to any NZ number.
The description sounds clear enough. But that's where the problems start.
Lets say I want to check my remaining balance. A quick TXT with 777 with the word BAL tells me this
"Mthly N/W nat. vf-vf mins:126"
Hmm.. Where did the nat. come from? I was sure my minutes were only on net and didn't include national calls!
How about the 777 IVR? Maybe that's better?
You have.. "126 included included monthly nights and weekends national minutes".
Yip that's right, not only is the world included actually said twice but, but the national word has popped up again. What does that mean? Maybe the Vodafone website could help me. Lets log into the usage meter and check.
Landlines? That's a new word. Is that the same as national calls or different yet again?
What I can tell you from being a customer for many years is that the Talk 200 plan only includes calls to Vodafone mobiles. Calls to any other off net mobile or landline phone are charged at normal airtime rates.
After 3 1/2 years of observing this and numerous complaints to Vodafone about this about this I figured it's time to get this off my chest. I know how and why the the problem occurs - the balance system was poorly scoped and is unable to differentiate between the different Your Time addons. At the end of the day however I don't care that you have incompetent staff unable to properly scope and build systems. You are misrepresenting a product and if you can't be bothered in sorting this maybe you should actually start offering including calls to landlines in this plan so you're not confusing your customers?
How hard can it be? Honestly? I bet it's easier than fixing the continual problems with stalling PDP contexts on your 3G network (but that's a whole new post for a rainy day).
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