Vodafone CEO blames own customers for network problems

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Beleaguered telco Vodafone has come under more fire today, with criticism being hurled at the widely scandal plagued communication provider for using too much marketing drivel in its direct contact with existing customers, and for blaming its new customers for its network problems.

A longterm customer of Vodafone contacted Current.com.au today to express his disdain for the language being used in its direct marketing, which he thinks is in direct contrast to the woeful advertisements featuring Australian cricketers during the summer.

Whereas Vodafone used Australian vice captain Michael Clarke and a tasteless pun on the word ‘dongle’ to promote its wares non-stop over summer, Vodafone Hutchison Australia CEO Nigel Dews used the full array of buzzwords in his 745-word polemic to customers. What’s most galling about this email is not Dews grovelling apology in the opening paragraph, but his blaming of Vodafone’s many problem on its own consumers.

“When more people joined us and some of our customers started using lots more data than they had before, we didn’t keep up, and some technical faults added to the issue,” wrote Dews.

The response to this message from Vodafone’s own customers is not complimentary.

“What waffle from Vodafone: worst advertisement ever,” wrote our source. “Who, other than journalists and industry insiders, is going to read all of this? Surely this breaks rule number one of advertising: keep it simple stupid.

“Imagine if Vodafone's TV ads were written in the same vein, with Ponting et al reciting Shakespeare.”

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Dews has promised Vodafone customers that their concerns are being acted on, although he does acknowledge that due to Vodafone’s own poor record in customer service that a lot of these concerns were never actually heard.

“When you [customers] contacted us to talk to us about network problems, too many of you waited too long to speak with someone who could help and give you the answers you needed,” he wrote.

“Every time you tell us about a bad experience we’re letting our engineers know so they can investigate as soon as possible. We’re also improving the information we give you so you can understand more about how our network is performing in your area, whether it’s information about sites that are really busy, or sites we are upgrading or building.”

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