back to article Vodafone hikes prices to 37.5p/min – and lets angry customers flee

Vodafone loves the price of 37.5p/minute. So much so that pretty much everything which is outside a standard bundle is going to cost exactly that. 37.5p is what Vodafone already charges for excess minutes over and above a subscriber's package. The move to introduce that rate for virtually any non-bundle activity sees some …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Howard Hanek

    Question

    When the calling costs begin to equal the cost of transportation and actually being there people should begin to realize that they're paying too much.

  3. dogged
    Meh

    > It’s a good job that doctors’ receptionists never put you on hold

    Hilarious.

    The best of all (in my experience) is the Gwent Out Of Hours GP service (0845 6001231) which takes seven and a half minutes of useless message before you even get to the stage of being put on hold. With a woman's voice going "If. You. Want. To. Try. Our. Inter. Active. Do. I. Need. A. Doctor. Service. Please. Go To. doubleyou. doubleyou. doublyou. Dot. Do. I. Need. A. doctor. Dot ..." etc ad nauseam.

    On finally getting through, you can expect at least half an hour on hold.

    I swear it's a revenue raising service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It must be a money winner because

      They've already answered for you to hear the message, i'd rather have the old style engaged tone

      1. Joe Montana

        Re: It must be a money winner because

        It's possible to play a recorded message (ie one way sound) without answering, this is how the ringing and other error tones are transmitted but it can be used for anything. If they cared about customers it would be done this way...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It must be a money winner because

          All very strange. I live abroad at the moment and when I call my doctor, I speak to my doctor. They haven't got a receptionist and no other doctors I know of here have one either. I might not speak to my own doctor out of hours but I do speak to a local doctor directly without waiting. All on local "normal" numbers with no waiting (occasionally they'll be engaged if they're all on the line but that almost never happens). BTW this isn't private health care I'm talking about.

          I've got so used to it that it's a bit shocking to be reminded of how it works in the UK.

    2. Boothy Silver badge

      084* numbers

      It aught to be a legal requirement for a 'local' service, to provide a local phone number.

      I've no issue with them also having an 084* number, but it should be in addition to a local phone number, not as a replacement.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: 084* numbers

        you might be interested in saynoto0870.com

        1. AbelSoul
          Thumb Up

          Re: you might be interested in saynoto0870.com

          +1

          I used to utilise that service regularly and, although I haven't had cause to use it for some time, if it's still as good as I remember I'd heartily recommend it.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      FWIW in Germany all such call centres are no longer allowed to charge while you're in a holding pattern. They're now pretty much all single fee (understandable) affairs with an explanatory note at the start of the call.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I swear it's a revenue raising service."

      Which is why the practice is banned by the NHS.

      http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/access/hundreds-of-gps-to-be-threatened-with-breach-of-contract-over-use-of-084-numbers/20004947.article

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Which is why the practice is banned by the NHS."

        Believe that when it happens.

  4. Graham Marsden
    WTF?

    " write to us"?

    Good to see Voda aren't putting barriers in the way of people leaving by letting them e-mail or phone to end their service...

    </sarcasm>

    1. chris 17 Silver badge

      Re: " write to us"?

      @ Graham,

      You'd have thought the post office would have some sort of email to post type interface for just such an issue, perhaps upto 4 sheets of paper plus envelope all for the cost of the normal stamp? Maybe a secure app or a secure web interface rather than just emailing them though.

      1. HarryBl

        Re: " write to us"?

        They used to have it back in the days of morse code and HF on ships. A Ship Letter Telegram - 22 words (including the address) for £1.10.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " write to us"?

        "You'd have thought the post office would have some sort of email to post type interface for just such an issue, perhaps upto 4 sheets of paper plus envelope all for the cost of the normal stamp? Maybe a secure app or a secure web interface rather than just emailing them though."

        It's called a "printer", and you can buy one yourself.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: " write to us"?

          He's talking more along the lines of being able type the letter on the Royal Mail website, pay them so money and have them print it out and deliver it.

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: " write to us"?

      I think it ought to be obligatory to allow customers to cease using a service via any of the means by which they are able to subscribe to it in the first place.

      I had to cancel some unrequired web hosting by post, giving a fortnight's notice - was barely half a dozen clicks to sign up for it.

    3. paulf
      FAIL

      Re: " write to us"?

      Based on my recent experience with the Red Apostrophe, dead tree plus snail mail is probably the most efficient way of solving problems. Five phone calls later and I STILL can't access my on line account despite the usual myriad of promises to sort it ASAP.

      The most amusing attempt to login was when I got dumped onto an error screen from their Oracle back end servers telling me to contact the sys admin.

      They haven't a clue about website stuff. Their social media escalation page (code is WRT165 if you're keen) demands a whole bunch of info through an insecure page!

      http://www.vodafone.co.uk/contact-form/index.htm

  5. xpz393

    Whooooosh!

    That's the sound of my letter to Vodafone having been posted.

    Everyone loves an early-exit clause :-D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whooooosh!

      If you are on a contract that is covering the cost of the phone as well, what happens to the phone in this case?

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Whooooosh!

        > what happens to the phone

        Interestingly, when my SO got a new phone (from O2) not long ago, the phone itself was on a completely separate finance agreement. So it looks like the operators are wising up to this one.

        If it's an "all in one" agreement that includes the service and phone then you can keep the phone without paying any more. If, like my SO, it's on a separate agreement then you'd still have to pay for that.

        1. Andy Nugent

          Re: Whooooosh!

          "Interestingly, when my SO got a new phone (from O2) not long ago, the phone itself was on a completely separate finance agreement. So it looks like the operators are wising up to this one." << does that not mean they can't advertise the phone as being **FREE** ?

      2. xpz393

        Re: Whooooosh!

        The thought had crossed my mind...

        Vodafone are still old school in that they just charge a fixed monthly amount which doesn't specify 'service provision' and 'phone repayment' parts separately. Indeed, once your contract end date has passed, Voda will happily continue to charge you the same amount unless you contact them to renegotiate.

        This is unlike o2's "refresh" which does indeed specify which part of your monthly fee is the phone-repayment, and which part is the service-provision. I suspect this would indeed give them a nasty little wriggle-out of this part of your contract if they raised charges above RPI and you wanted to leave.

        I shall await Voda's response with great curiosity...

        Also, if you happen to be an iPhone-wielder, don't forget to call customer services to have it officially unlocked for you before you post that letter off to big-red.

  6. Refugee from Windows

    A sort of tearing noise

    A friend was regularly landed with £7 a day for *any* data with this lot, he's moved to a dumb phone and ditched them. Do they really want to keep anything other than corporate customers?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: A sort of tearing noise

      don't forget the MNV networks that they host.

      So I think you are right. They don't want to be half arsed when it comes to managing us plebs, sorry bog standard consumers. We don't make them enough dosh to be bothered with. I think their game plan is to move everyone who is not a business customer or on a MNVO to another network or to one of the MNVO's they run.

      Got pissed with this mob years ago when despite the OFCOM rules they wouldn't let me take my old number with me when I deserted ship. No desire to go back.

    2. Dazed and Confused
      Facepalm

      Re: A sort of tearing noise

      A mate of mine is battling with Vodabill over excess usage charges because they are trying to force an update onto his phone which doesn't fit on the phone, so it downloads till it runs out of space, aborts and then restarts and downloads all over again. KerChing KerChing KerChing and there isn't even a setting to say that you don't want the Vodadumb bloatwear on the phone, so there is no way to turn it off and stop it happening except by pulling the SIM card out of the phone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A sort of tearing noise

      We had a problem at work where we ordered a voice only SIM. The user ended up putting it into a smart phone and happily used data. As data wasn't part of the tariff, we were charged out of contract rates for the data, resulting a bill of over £1,000 for UK data.

      We protested that we'd never asked for data and Vodafone told us that they can't disable data on a connection. Not impressed. We fought and got a lot of the money back, but couldn't get the full amount back.

  7. I_am_Chris

    Doctors

    "It’s a good job that doctors’ receptionists never put you on hold"

    Ha!

    Our surgery has a queuing system. Fortunately, it's also a local number.

    Looks like Vodaphone want out of the mobile phone business if you compare 37.5ppm with 2ppm available with Three 3-2-1 PAYG.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like Vodaphone is looking to get back the revenue it's using from the switch from 08 to 03 numbers.

  9. Chris Evans

    Thanks El Reg

    I expect Vodafone announced this by: "displaying it at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard."

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Thanks El Reg

      ah, I think you'll also find that that's the same lavatory where you go to vote in (next year's?) referendum!

  10. Tom Wood

    EE are charging more - 44p

    http://ee.co.uk/help/add-ons-benefits-and-plans/price-plans-and-costs/ee-price-plans/changes-to-numbers-starting-08-09-and-118#what

    But, NHS England says doctor's surgeries shouldn't use 084 numbers. Many banks and customer service lines are changing to use 0345 or 0370 instead of the 08 versions (03 numbers come out of inclusive minutes).

    1. Richard Jones 1
      WTF?

      Re: EE are charging more - 44p

      I think they are charging 37p before VAT is the Vodafone cost ex VAT at 37.5 or with VAT, at 37.5p or Value Deduction Tax as it appears to be, but VD Tax might not sound so good in the eyes of some.

      1. Obitim

        Re: EE are charging more - 44p

        Excluding according to their website (just checked the link as considering upping sticks myself)

  11. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "Notably, 084 numbers, used by some doctors' surgeries, rise from 19.17p a minute to 37.5p."

    Doctors' surgeries are forbidden to use 08[45] numbers and a complaint to your local health provider is in order if they are.

  12. Captain Queeg

    All these complaints are missing the big picture

    These prices are simply in line with the superb connection quality, customer service, depth of coverage and data speeds Vodafone provide.

    Oh, wait.........

  13. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    separates the operator leg and the premium leg of the call

    VM have just done the same thing.

    This sounds like complying with new OFCOM rules or collusion/copying.

  14. psychonaut

    one net

    aargh. i saw an email about this the other day and filed it without really reading it. im using one net, so they have my virtual land line numbers permanently directed to my mobile.

    anyone know of any alternatives? i already pay them 45 quid a month and theres always extra charges

  15. petef

    45p not 37.5p

    The figures on Vodafone's web site are ex VAT. El Reg has regurgitated them without comment.

    If it were an advert then ASA would mandate that VAT was included.

  16. James 51

    Called up and the person on the other end didn't know about the changes and had to look it up. Even then the way it was worded was confusing as 'Your bundle was not affected.' by which they meant in bundle stuff wasn't changing but over bundle charges were. They said 37p as well not the with VAT charge and didn't mention that I could get out of my contract. In fairness this was probably the first they'd heard of this. Will call up again today to confirm getting out of the contract has to be done in writing.

  17. TheresaJayne

    Three do exactly the same, I have a contract with them, and ANY call outside the call bundle is charged at 35p/min - including 0800 numbers.

    1. Thomas 6

      0800 numbers are free with Three. They made a big thing about it a while back. If you are being charged, you may still be on an historic price plan.

      1. petef

        0800 numbers are free with all operators/plans from July 1 under the Ofcom rules coming into effect then. Vodafone are making some changes then and more on August 10.

        Some operators are spinning it as magnanimity from them to be giving us the privilege of making the free calls which Ofcom have mandated. Many are using the changes as justification for raising prices to balance their loss of revenue, as they did when EU roaming charge caps came in.

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