You’ve gotta feel for the people whose job it is to not only produce large quantities of marketing materials, but then also to check that every item and bit of contract detail is correct – especially in the complex world of mobile phone plans. Vodafone’s current “double data” deal on various plans is even sweeter according to one page of their latest “let’s talk” magazine.
I’ve been using the Boost mobile plans on the Telstra network for a couple of months, however with an overseas trip pending I’m not sure there’s a better option out there than Vodafone’s RED roaming plans, so I took myself along to a local Vodafone store last week to switch over ready for the trip.
I knew what I wanted – heck, I’m the last person you want to be “selling” to in a mobile store – so I knew I wanted the RED plan and I knew I was going to go SIM Only. The helpful staff grabbed the “let’s talk” magazine off the counter and flicked to page 7 – titled “Your phone. Our SIM. Easy”. Down the bottom are four price options. $35, $45, $50, $65. Each lists the monthly data, inclusions, text and call amounts as well as a big tickbox if the Red Roaming, Red Care and Red Start are applicable.
I immediately said to the staff member that there was a plan missing – after all, I knew the RED plans back to front having spent two days in New Zealand with the Vodafone CEO when the plans launched. The $85 SIM Only plan wasn’t there. But, no big deal, you can only fit so much.
We discussed the $65 plan, and how the data was appealing given I was going overseas, and I confirmed that because I was going month to month I could simply drop back a level at any time. Sounds like a plan – sign me up.
The appeal of these plans comes from the recent decision by Vodafone to offer “double data” for 24 months if you sign up in December, so the idea of grabbing that deal – a big whack of data and keeping it for a while was hard to ignore!
A short while later, I was out of the store with my number already working on Vodafone.
Having boasted about my return to Vodafone (and the super fast 4G speeds) I did get some twitter comments. One commenter wanted more data for the dollar, I immediately questioned how the $65 10GB plan wasn’t pure awesome – knowing that the current deal was “double data” on a huge range of Vodafone plans – which lasted two years if you kept signed up even month to month.
My world started to crumble when I got this tweet from Vodafone.
@trevorlong We’re super happy you’ve signed up! Although, the $65 SIM only M2M has 5GB with the double data. Or did you add extra data? ^TH
— Vodafone Help AU (@VodafoneAU_Help) December 12, 2013
What? No 10GB plan? I drove back to the shopping centre that day, grabbed the magazine and confirmed – in writing – there it is.
A spokesperson for Vodafone tells me they are aware of the error, and that signs should be displayed in store with the magazine, and that customers should be told when discussing those plans. Didn’t see the signs and didn’t get told that.
Knowing I was a bit ignorant to everything and just wanted to sign up, I took the time to visit a different store on the weekend. I casually grabbed the magazine, chatted to a staff member and told him how keen I was on the SIM only plans, showed him the page, talked through the options, and discussed coming back to sign up. At no point in the 5 mins I was there did he mention the error.
As of today Vodafone are reprinting notices in store about the error in the magazine, and importantly putting a step in their sign-up system so that the staff simply must tell you the actual data limit (5GB) on the $65 plan in case you were swayed by the printed version.
I realise that a very very small number of people probably saw the page, let alone the smaller numbers who signed up as a result, however for Mobile plans and for Data in particular it’s vital the information is correct.
If you signed up to Vodafone in the last week or so in a Vodafone store and picked the $65 plan because of that 10GB data limit, you’d best call Vodafone and discuss the options now to ensure you know exactly what you are getting and what you expected.