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back to article Vodafone Oz slims down as customers flee

Vodafone Australia is to shed an estimated 500 staff as it continues to leak customers and struggle with network quality issues. Following a detailed business review and the loss of 178,000 customers in the six months to July, Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow said that the company was “prepared to think and act differently in everything …

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Pirate

There are caps in NZ on holding 2.1 GHz (for mobile use) spectrum which need to be met, hence Telstra (AU) keeping some of the 2.1GHz out of the deal. Next step will be who Telstra sells its stock of 2.1GHz to - 2 Degrees? As I'm sure there will be a restraint of trade against Telstra in New Zealand.

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nhm
Unhappy

wrong culture is the problem

In my experience customer service was appalling and never really achieved a positive out come. Each phone call took 45mins to an hour. I even went to a vodaphone store and too them 30mins to get hold of the correct dept and still I had another 45 mins with no joy.

They are getting here what they deserve and shedding the employees probably isnt going to make much difference. Change your damn culture and offer a responsive, effective customer service and this begins and ends at the top,no team ever over takes the leadership.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Vodaphone Deckchair Rearranging Co.

“We need to prioritise every dollar and internal action to count toward an improved customer experience and these changes are designed to deliver just this,” Morrow said.

translation:

We're bleeding money, so we have to start firing people to make up for the fact that we can no longer treat our customers like shit."

178000 customers in 6 months... considering what lengths companies usually go to in order to hold onto a customer for another 24 months, I'm guessing it'll be many, many years before they even get back to where they were.

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Thumb Down

Reckon El Reg should dig deeper into this story.

There is no doubt that Vodafone's service in Australia is appalling. One of my services is a Vodafone wireless that uses Huawei E585 modem and it is used within 6km of the Sydney CBD. The location is not unusual in that it's unusually shielded by tall buildings, in fact there's cell phone antenna clusters within only 0.3km away at the end of the street--these are almost line-of-sight but not quite (and there's another two about one km away).

The biggest problem is latency and it's worse than being on a satellite circuit. I hit the Google icon on my task bar and the browser will literally take between 10 and 30 seconds to connect. And that's if it connects at all, often one just terminates the connection and tries again until a connection is achieved. When a connection is established, Google's links can take equally long time to connect. (Doing the same exercise on the ADSL line and Google appears within sub-second time).

On sites where the back-end has no effective bandwidth limit (i.e. where downloads from the site on a Telstra land-line ADSL consistently exceed >14mbps), the Vodafone E585 wireless streams somewhere between 60 and 230kbps. The E585 modem is not the limiting factor because at Sydney's Mascot airport when traffic is quiet (after it's closed) data rates of 500kbps can be achieved.

Even at say 200kbps the network's wireless link connection is not the limit. Somewhere within the Vodafone network, Vodafone's servers/switches are polling and simply cannot deliver the connection to the outside world--the traffic block is there and not in the wireless link! Moreover, it's a consistent problem that's almost independent of the time of day--'tis even a problem at 3AM! No amount of replacing of wireless equipment or radio antennae will fix that.

I for one would really like to know exactly what is going on behind the scenes at Vodafone Australia. We're given lots of info about improvements to the 3G service and no doubt that's happening but if Vodafone cannot connect to other service providers such as Telstra--which is essential as it holds/owns most of Australia's infrastructure including overseas gateways--then that's where the Vodafone bottleneck will be--and that's *not* solved by excellent 3G or even a 4G coverage.

El Reg reporters et al should try to get to the bottom of this problem. Seems to me that Vodafone is hiding its back-end problems. Potentially, they could be more problematic than the wireless link--in fact, in my case--they certainly are now!

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Flame

@ GW- Re: Reckon El Reg should dig deeper into this story.

I've just tried to up-vote a facetious comment on the 'Jimmy Savile ringtones/iTunes' story via the Vodafone E585 modem and I had to terminate the connection and relaunch it. I still don't know if the up-vote worked or not--I'll check in a moment.

This Vodafone network is beyond any joke, even the most tolerant and magnanimous would consider it unacceptable!

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Silver badge

Why not?

Partner with the ISPs and turn Bob into a pico-cell?

Offload some of your traffic from the network *and* improve customer's signal quality at home.

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