Let’s be honest, for all the good things about Vodafone, their communication skills aren’t up there with the best. It’s not because of a lack of news stories out there, it’s simply because the official channels that Vodafone use just aren’t kept as up to date as they could be.
So, we decided to pick up their slack and round up all of the Vodafone news stories that have hit the wires over the last 30 days. From terrible customer service scores to the potential for drone traffic management, it’s been an interesting December for Vodafone. Let’s dig in.
It’s certainly not the end of year award that they were looking for, but Vodafone have topped the charts for the number of complaints during the last three months, according to Ofcom data.
The league table of complaints looks at gripes received against telecom providers like Vodafone who provide broadband, landline, mobile contracts and subscription TV. Once again, Vodafone came out at the top of most complaints of any mobile service provider.
Vodafone registered 18 complaints per 100,000 customers, which is more than double the next worst – Talk Mobile – who registered just 8. The industry average sits at 6, and though Vodafone’s performance in this regard is extremely poor, it’s continued to improve.
Vodafone’s worst quarterly performance came at Q4 2015, when the company averaged 32 complaints per 100,000. Nevertheless, it’s something that the contact Vodafone team need to work on improving if they’ve any hope of competing against upstart networks like Sky Mobile.
Drones might not be the hot Christmas item they were last year, but their potential in a number of emerging fields has proven enduring. Case in point? Vodafone are investigating a potential role in traffic management for drones.
After meeting European aviation authorities about adapting their network to track and identify unmanned aircraft, Vodafone are seriously considering the potential of such a system. Regulators are said to be keen on developing a framework for integrating drone safety into international airspace by 2030, and Vodafone could have a key role to play.
Yves Morier, director of unmanned aircraft as ESSA, said mobile phone companies offered “lots of interesting ideas” in the search for an air traffic control system for the unmanned market. “A number of ideas [Vodafone] had could contribute,” he said. “Human intervention would be limited. It is highly ambitious but it is clearly a technology that should be looked at.”
Any product launched from Vodafone in this area would not come in 2017, but could be worked on in Vodafone’s R&D department before a further announcement. Vodafone themselves have been quick to say this is at a ‘very early stage’.
Data rollover schemes are a fantastic way for customers who don’t use all of their data in one month to use it in the next. It’s a simple, consumer friendly move that a number of mobile networks have implemented, including O2, iD and Sky Mobile.
As such, it was welcome news that Vodafone announced that data rollover would be an option on their pre-pay Big Value Bundles. The curious part? Vodafone claimed this was an “industry first”.
“We are delighted to be offering yet another industry first to our customers by introducing Data Rollover,” said Glafkos Persianis, Vodafone UK’s commercial director. “Through listening to our customers, we’re determined to simplify our products and offer even better value for money, so that they can enjoy the UK’s winning network wherever they are.”
The only thing is, as we know, is that data rollover isn’t an ‘industry first’. To make matters worse, Vodafone’s implementation is much worse than other networks. Unlike, say, Sky Mobile, which let you hoard your data for up to 36 months, Vodafone kills off your accrued data at the end of the next month.
Vodafone have taken the wraps off 100 new partners in the first phase of a new enterprise programme, due to come into effect on January 1st, 2017. It’s the first time Vodafone have offered official certification across their portfolio of fixed, mobile, cloud and converged technology.
Nick Birtwistle, director of partners and strategic alliances at Vodafone UK, said: “From unified communications to the Internet of Things, digital technologies are enhancing the way businesses and public services work. This is driving transformation in the design and delivery of communications infrastructure and services, and demand for converged solutions. We have designed our new programme to equip our partners with the highest-levels of training and support around our portfolio of technologies. We believe this will help them to take a leading position in this new era of communications and provide continued service excellence for customers,”