Vodafone backflips on proposed data charges

Customer backlash forces Vodafone to reverse data charging decision

Vodafone has cited "concern" from its pre-paid customers as a reason for abandoning plans to charge data in per megabyte (MB) blocks.

The company announced last week that it would be switching from per kilobyte (kB) data charges to per MB charges but has now abandoned that decision following "feedback from Vodafone prepaid customers".

The initial proposed changes would have resulted in Vodafone prepaid customers paying for internet use in a minimum of 1MB blocks, regardless of whether they used that full amount of data.

"We have decided to not only reverse our decision to introduce per MB charging, we’ll also be dropping the existing minimum data session to 1kB for all our prepaid customers," explained Vodafone's Director of Customer Care, Cormac Hodgkinson.

"We value customer input that helps us deliver pricing that is simple and makes sense," he said. "We are determined to show our customers we are listening."

Vodafone's per kB data changes, which come into effect from February 2013.
Vodafone's per kB data changes, which come into effect from February 2013.

Optus generally currently charges data in 1MB blocks, while Telstra prices its data in per kB intervals.

Despite the backdown on data charges, Vodafone confirmed it would not reverse its decision to scrap unlimited mobile access to social networking services Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare and MySpace from Wednesday, February 13.

The company's unlimited social networking offer provided free data access through the respective social network’s official smartphone app, or if customers used the official website through their smartphone browser. Interestingly, Optus ceased offering unmetered social networking access on its post-paid contract plans last December.

Last week, Vodafone announced it would be dumping the Crazy John's retail brand it acquired from Patricia Ilhan, widow of founder John Ilhan, in 2008. The telco announced it will close or rebrand Crazy John’s retail stores across Australia as part of a new "single-brand strategy".

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