Nice to know you, Vodafone

September 29, 2010

Friday last week arrived and Vodafone had still not managed to deliver my broadband hardware. Having notified them on Tuesday that they were sending it to the wrong address, the least I expected was it to be sent off on Wednesday to arrive before the weekend.  I obviously expected too much. So on Friday morning I phoned Vodafone to tell them get stuffed and cancel my pending contract.  I then phoned Orcon who were great. They expect to connect me this Friday and couriered my hardware promptly; it arrived yesterday at work.

But the real point of this post is to highlight the draconian details buried in Vodafone’s terms and conditions.  Vodafone is a bit of a fan of hiding such specifics behind fluffy feel-good wording such as as this:

“It’s perfectly legal. Our lawyers tell us this is important stuff. And we’re not about to argue,” says Vodafone on their “legal stuff” page.

In reality, when you become a customer of Vodafone you agree to a bunch of quite unreasonable stuff.

A look through the “Terms and Conditions for Vodafone fixed line and internet customers” brings me across article 21 which states:

.
21. Notices and Variations of
Charges, Terms and Pricing Plans
(a) We may change this Agreement and any
free Services at any time. Changes will be
posted on our Website. Please check this
regularly for updates.
(b) We may vary the charges set out in our
Pricing Plan(s) at any time. We will give you at
least 10 business days’ prior notice, and where
possible 1 month’s notice of these changes.
We will notify you of these changes by posting
them on our Website. Please check our Website
regularly for updates. For the avoidance of
doubt, we may not notify you of price decreases
or of promotional offers.
(c) If we materially increase a Pricing Plan, or
materially reduce elements of a Service you
are using, or change the terms and conditions
of this Agreement so that it has a materially
detrimental effect on you we will give you
at least 10 business days’ prior notice, and
where possible one months notice of these
changes. We will notify you of any changes by
Bill message and/or leaving a message on your
voicemail and/or by email. Any such changes
will also be posted on our Website.
.

Whoa! So you’re saying Vodafone can charge me more per a month on that 24-month contract I signed up to even though I agreed to pay that amount for two years and get charged a termination fee if I pull out early? And they just need to give me 10 days’ notice if they change their end of the bargain and I don’t get the option to opt out for free? Yup, they can do precisely that, because that’s what you signed up for, sorry.

Screw Vodafone and other telcos with unreasonable long-term contracts.

Bring on Orcon and 2degrees and their lack of contracts. All these two companies ask for is that you give them one months’ notice if you decide to cancel the services they are providing you. It’s about time someone rattled the Telecom-Vodafone duopoly.

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My new internet setup at home has been delayed by Vodafone’s incompetence. What a pain.

I signed up for their naked broadband deal, which included a free wireless router. It should have arrived by now had they not sent it to the wrong street number, wrong street name, wrong city, and WRONG DAMN ISLAND.

How does one confuse Ellerslie in Auckland with an RD2 address in Ashburton, South Island? Not to mention this product is aligned with my current Vodafone mobile account which obviously states I’m in Auckland. Why would I want something sent half way down the South Island, to Ashburton, 1148kms away from Auckland.

I’ve not even used their broadband service yet and they’ve already given me reason to complain.