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back to article Vodafone moves 360 goalposts

After being forced to allow customers to remove 360 branding and applications by its own terms and conditions, Vodafone has responded by tearing up the offending rules. The old rules are still in place until 12 November, so until then Vodafone is still bound by the agreement that states users can "remove both the Service and any …

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Stop

DO NOT WANT.

Mobile operators really need to wake up.

It took LLU before companies Like BE were able to offer the kind of data services that people do want. Now what can we do about mobile??

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Anonymous Coward

Stop buying smartphones

It's that simple. If the providers insist in doing things we don't like with OUR data don't buy the products that enable this behaviour. If your employer buys you one that's one thing, although, they may want to select providers that don't gather a lot of data. I don't know which providers that list would include, but it clearly should be all of them.

Service providers are PAID to provide a SERVICE, not to collect any data on us, which should other than that required by law be strictly illegal.

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Erm, SIM free?

How about going SIM free, not getting a contract and going with a good PAYG service like GiffGaff or getting a rolling one month SIM only contract?

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What does this mean in practical terms?

My current contract (Orange) is due to end (~12th Oct) and I was considering a move to Vodafone. This kind of news item makes them sound like a dodgy prospect. Can anyone advise me on this?

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Stop

I was a vodafone customer

never never never again not even if they gave me unlimited texts and minutes for zero a month.

take my advice - there are other operators who run a decent service and treat you like a human being not a P o S.

Then there's Vodafone

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they suck

Vodafone are right at the top of my sh1tlist.

Besides tearing my hair out dealing with their corporate division due to all manner of problems that just never get resolved. I've also had the unfortunate experience of using their retail products... hmmm just try and cancel a contract, even after the agreed term period turned into a fiasco with them turning debt collectors on me. On another occasion I kindly made a ONE-OFF payment for a friends bill one month and was then delighted to find them billing that same card on subsequent months without any authorisation. Only after my bank and the ombudsman got involved over the blatant fraud did they refund the money.

I have so many stories really - use at your own peril.

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Anonymous Coward

Not just payments

I didn't even make a payment for them to set up a direct debit with no authorisation. They asked for my bank details for a credit check before letting me walk out with the phone and despite not signing an agreement and double checking with them that bank details would not be used for payment under any circumstances as it was a business phone (on a business contract), it was still set up.

Still with them at the moment due to the curse of ever-lengthening contracts, but when my 24 month sentence is up next year intend to switch to a company capable of providing a 3G signal to the centre of Oxford. Supposedly I have 500Mb/month data allowance, but as it would take more than a month to download that amount at the piddly GPRS/Edge connection I get anywhere in the city, I don't have to worry about exceeding it.

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Pint

no idea about the uk, but

Over here in germany, I get very decent service and a rather ok "helpdesk" experience when there are problems or open questions. Might be to do with having been on D2 (the German network gods (mhm. That was typed "voda" at first on my D2-branded HTC. Makes one wonder) acquired around 2000) since 1995, though. None of that "360"-bullshit ever came my way as well, they were marketing some of the crappier "smartphones" under that brand a while ago, though.

Every time I hear about vodafone's exploits in Britain, I wonder if it's actually the same company. Although I also get that feeling when I talk to friends or colleagues on prepaid or resold contracts. Whatever.

I'm off shift, in the pub, with a beer and tomorrow's my day off.

Clash playing and the landlord throwing a round of decent vodka, as well. Life's good, sometimes.

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It's a competitive market

Why are Voda so hellbent on shooting themselves in the foot?

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Anonymous Coward

Sigh

Ok. Having just pre-ordered a Desire HD from Vodafone, im now worried that it will arrive pre-loaded with all this crap. Just as I thought they were getting the message that most customers don't want all this rubbish on their devices.

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Stupidity is alive and well in Newbury

Nobody wants it.

Nobody needs it.

Everyone I know who had it has removed it because it's so piss-poor.

You'd think they'd take the hint.

Maybe if the actual experience was approaching decent....

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FAIL

"We dont use gas!" "What is gas!"

I don't even know what it even bloody is! I've only ever heard about though El Reg and yet I'm an actual Vodafone customer!

Great job lads and lassies down at Vodafone! You've made a shit product hardly anyone's heard of and of those who have, you have to force them to, well maybe not use, but to have it installed!

If only all of Britain's business possessed such skilful insight!

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Ugh

Sometimes I'm glad I'm not on Vodafone. I've become a fan of "bring your own phone" contracts where I don't have to agree to anything from the operator apart from charges for calls and texts, and unfiltered use of a data pipe. It's my phone, I decide what gets installed on it.

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FAIL

They'll never learn.

Voda, you suck. Embrace the inevitable; you're a pipe (that's not an insult).

Adjust your business. Stop pissing around with services and charge properly for data. Sink cash into making yours absolutely the best network for data. Be the future of mobile data in the UK.

Vizzavi, vodafone360 and all points in between. Over weaning ambition. Look what it did to Nokia.

In the meantime, I will never ever purchase a subsidized handset from Vodafone again, instead opting for what I hope is a 3-5 year replacement cycle for sim free devices, so I can enjoy them as the manufacturer intended and without that miserable pile of garish crap which is Vodafone branding (I believe they paid a 6 figure sum for those awesomely bad icons).

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WTF?

Arrogance...

FFS, whose phone is it anyway? OK, so there's a subsidy tying you in to a minimum period contract, but even so...

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Their phone

If your phone is subsidised on a contract then it's theirs until you complete the minimum period of the contract.

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If they have to change the T&Cs to force this onto users...

...they must realise at some point that the users don't want it.

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WTF?

WTF?

Am I missing something here? The 3rd paragraph of the T&C's linked to says:

"You can stop using the Service and remove both the Service and any applications downloaded via the Service at any time from your mobile device."

That doesn't sound to me like anyone being 'forced' to install anything.

On the other hand, for handsets supplied by Vodafone, there's no reason why they can't put whatever software they want on them - it's not as if they're insisting that you only use handsets supplied by them on their network.

A SIM-Free device will always work out cheaper over the course of a 24 or 18 month contract than an operator subsidised one.

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Wrong

I paid £165 up front for a HTC Desire from T-Mobile, and pay £10/month for 24 months. That's a total of £400.

At the time I bought it, the handset alone cost more than £400 - and that doesn't include paying for any calls, texts or data (which are included to a degree on the £10/mo contract)

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Please read article

That should be a big enough hint.

And if you cannot be arsed (you obviously didn't bother reading it before) - the article is about the T&C's CHANGING to remove the phrase you so delightfully quoted.

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Happy

your assertion

that 'A SIM-Free device will always work out cheaper over the course of a 24 or 18 month contract than an operator subsidised one' is totally untrue - do some research.

My family are all on Virgin and we're getting new phones each year for £10 - £15 month. I don't know what's in it for Virgin but it's fine for us

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Unhappy

Forced is exactly what it is.

The apps are automatically loaded on our handsets whether we wanted them or not and CANNOT be removed without rooting etc.

Sounds like 'forced' to me.

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No Chance.

Currently with Vodafone.

If my next phone cannot be free of crapware, I go elsewhere.

Pretty much want to buy my next phone and go for a sim-only rolling 1 month contract after the way Vodafone has jerked us around with regard to updates (no updates for the Magic and faux updates (full of crapware) for the Desire).

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Black Helicopters

My thoughts exactly

I'm in the same boat - cannot wait for my HTC Magic contract to be up in March. I'm really lucky they appear to have screwed my contract up. I signed up for 2 years to get the phone cheaper, but their system still says I'm on 18 months hehe.

Then I'll be swapping onto a SIM-only contract with 3 (a quarter of the price) and buying an iPhone 4 - it's cheaper:

Magic @ £75 + £40/month over 2 years = £1,035. iPhone 4 @ £500 + £10/mo over 2 years = £740.

(Anonymous so Vodafone don't find out who I am and correct their mistake.)

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@AC 12:42

...or any handset you choose, most of which are cheaper than £500.

Also you can get the £10/mo on a monthly rolling 'contract' so you're free to switch provider should one offer a better deal.

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Grenade

Consumers

Time to exercise our rights as consumers and boycott Vodafone and their enforced software?

How else do these companies learn that we primarily want a good experience from their services?

Caveat: I left Vodafone over a year ago - statement was generic to the rubbish that telco's keep pulling.

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Not consumers

Sadly, I suspect that most of Vodafone's customers are in fact businesses.

I've never worked for a company that isn't using Vodafone as it's mobile provider and I rarely encounter people from other companies who aren't in the same boat.

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Anonymous Coward

Not all companies use Vodafone.

Mine uses Orange.. so there is another one to add to your "encounter list".

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WTF?

Sadly, my own research discovered....

....that the cost of the SIM-free phone plus two years SIM-only service was actually about 200 quid more than a 2 year contract with subsidised phone.

If that's not the case for others then the terms you were offered would appear to be extortionate.

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But you can be cheaper SIM-free

If you forget contracts and use pay as you go on your own phone.

So I can use Vodafone on my secondhand Motorola Milestone, but don't have to use 360.

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Stop

Ts & Cs

If either parties wants to substantially change the terms of a contract then it must be agreed by BOTH parties.

If either party does not agree to those changes then they can terminate the contract with no penalty.

That's British Law that is.

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How would one go about it

Would you just call them up and say "I don't agree" and they would be obliged to end the contract? Someone should try this, I fear it wouldn't be easy, the call centre drones will probably just try to make you change your mind, offering you new tariffs etc.

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The problem is....

...that ending the contract won't avoid getting updated firmware with Vodafone 360 apps built in. That is dependent on the phone's software version that determines what HTC's servers offer you.

Debranding then becomes the only option, but affects your warranty even with HTC because they know what firmware a given serial number was supplied with.

The only hope, if the Vodafone firmware update has other bug fixes worth having, is that they have learnt from the last fiasco and allow the 360 apps and services to be disabled so that they don't screw the battery life.

This really is an absolute arse Vodafone, why can't you understand that your 360 stuff is pointless when there are so many other options that do the same thing only better?

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Is this not a material change to the agreement?

And if it is does that not mean that disgruntled customers can exit contracts with no penalty?

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Anonymous Coward

I suggest

you direct your question to Vodafone and their interpretation of contract law, which may not be the same as any responses you get from this forum

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Apparently not

As, in Vodafone's world, increasing (potentially five-fold) the data roaming rates didn't constitute a change to your agreement and that they would not allow you to leave your contract early because of the change, I can't see that they'd allow you to go without buying your way out for this either.

From memory, their claim was that, while your UK tariff was agreed and specified, the roaming rates weren't and that the contract only covered the UK, the ability to pay vast sums of money to use data while abroad was purely a bonus that you didn't have any right to, and therefore they could change at will without it altering your contract.

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FAIL

I wonder...

How's the campaign going to find ONE person that likes 360?

This was mentioned in a previous Reg article about the Desire 'firmware', it seemed they hadn't found anyone by then...

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Linux

a title is required

Beware OTA updates bearing gifts

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Stop

I'm out

between this and their over zealous 'customer care' dept, I can't wait to leave Voda when my contract expires.

http://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/08452453200

http://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/08080600702

http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/topic/45338-0808-001-1101-keeps-cold-calling/

idiots

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Fastest leaving of Vodafone?

Joined Voda, getting an Android thing.

Got it home. Hated 360.

Took it back, left Voda.

Total round-trip time about 90 minutes.

Back with Orange now, much better.

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Vodafone Update

Hi There

We're continuing to look into this matter and please rest assured we're listening to your feedback. Our technical team is now working on a resolution to give Galaxy S users more choice over how they use 360 services, including the option to remove them. This is being looked at as a priority and as soon as we've got confirmed details we'll share them with you.

In the meantime, we can tell you that it's likely we'll implement these changes through the forthcoming Android 2.2 update. This may mean there is a slight delay in delivering Android 2.2 to you because, due to the newly planned changes, the current version has to be re-worked and tested but we hope our variant will follow soon after Samsung releases the open market version.

Kirsty

Web Relations Team

Vodafone UK

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FAIL

Hey Kirsty,

How about releasing 2.2, as Samsung release it, and then releasing a downloadable version of your 360 software for those that want it? Make it opt in, rather than pick out?

If it's a good as you think, as good as you can persuade, then surely folk will want it, no?

Far less work for you, and far less work for your customers who have to try and unpick the cursed software from their Froyo...

I thank the lucky stars I'm not - and now probably never will be - one of your customers - you know, the folk that pay you money to get a service, the ones that you should listen to, and respond to...and let them have the service that they want, not what you think that they should want.

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Legal Obligations

Kirsty,

As the person who submitted the details behind this story to Bill, I'd like to remind you that Vodafone are legally obliged to provide its customers with a means to remove the 360 software from their phones. As to this statement:

"In the meantime, we can tell you that it's likely we'll implement these changes through the forthcoming Android 2.2 update."

That is simply not enough. Consumers have rights. Vodafone has breached their own Terms and Conditions by denying its customer base the ability to remove this software. Stop employing delaying tactics and do what Vodafone is legally obligated to do; allow customers to remove Vodafone 360 software from their handsets.

Best,

Elfyn

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Anonymous Coward

That doesn't help

One word answer:

When my Desire HD is delivered, will I be able to remove all the pre-installed Vodafone rubbish, and anything else that is 'force fed' to the device in the following months?

Simple answer required.

If its a No, then see you around Vodafone.

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Boffin

if you can't take the software

don't suck the subsidy

it's very fucking simple

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Subsidy? What subsidy?

An extended payment plan (with attendant lock-in) ain't no subsidy.

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Vodafone 360 - removing trash causes a delay

That's got to be the funniest thing I've seen for a while but with that said at least they are communicating with their customers even if it was sneaked in after the massive uproar caused by the same deal with the HTC Desire. I'm due an upgrade and I'm waiting for the HTC Desire HD but tactics like this put Vodafone at the bottom of the list for potential networks to move to should T-Mobile decide I'm worth less than new customers. This and the bright red Vodafone logo they love to stamp on all their phones.

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Get lost Bloadafone

>at least they are communicating with their customers

It took them a month and about 1000 posts before they listened to their Samsung Galaxy S customers and still we have no concrete reassurance that we can get a a junk free firmware update from Vodafone. Another group of phone customers (I forget which handset) went through the same BS and eventually got 360 removed but it took them a long time for this to happen. It simply isn't good enough and I will not be renewing my contract with Vodafone...

See below for more details on Galaxy S customer views on the 360 apps:

http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/topic/75000-galaxy-s-how-can-i-remove-the-new-vodafone-apps/

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WTF?

Telecommunications act violation?

I believe the exemption that all mobile operators have (Normally they would be required to individually license _every_ handset in their network) is on the basis that they don't own or control the handsets.

Walled gardens are one thing, that's on the network side.

Does Vodafone really want to come close to having its exemption rescinded?

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Look before you leap...

here's the thing: if you enter into a contract with an Operator, you agree to certain terms and conditions. That's a no-brainer, obviously. If you then, as part of that contract, accept the issue of a subsidised mobile phone as part of that contract, then you've only got yourself to blame if you get tied into such T&C as you may later decide are not to your liking.

I'm a Vodafone customer. I've got a 30 quid a month contract (it's for 24 months, 13 of which are gone already), and shopped around for the phone I wanted to be included, which is an HTC Touch Pro 2; not the swankiest of phones these days, but does what I want, and I really appreciate the keyboard. However, I was careful in choosing a supplier that did NOT use Vodafone-branded hardware; this phone's unlocked and sim-free, meaning that if I so choose, I can take it to another operator and use it there, once my contract with Vodafone is complete.

I also do not need to put up with the frankly appalling UI that Vodafone inflicts on the majority of its' smartphone users, or the equally rubbish 'updates' it inflicts on those customers...

Oh, and for the record, Vodafone is the one operator who didn't blind me with bullsheisse on T&C and billing. I've got the deal I wanted, and the connectivity I wanted. Sorted :-)

Moral?

Go sim-free & unlocked every time.

It tends to save you MUCH grief.

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