dunc, on May 9 2008, 12:43, said:
To return this thread to topic - the most iniquitous thing about all this is that Vodafone have put all the £7.50/120MB customers on to the new plan (ie 500MB), but are continuing to charge those customers £7.50 for something that they are now giving to new customers for free. To put that in context - I have a plan that gives me 350 minutes for £40. I then pay a further £7.50 for the data bundle. Total: £Lots basically. However, if you look at their new tariffs I could have twice as many minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB for less money. The only way that they will give this to me is if I extend my contract by six months. Which sucks basically. Anyone got any ideas on how to approach this.
I was looking at new price plans and vodafone.co.uk today and noticed there was no mention of the much publicised 500MB bundle. All the price plans details show
Data Usage+ (First 15MB in a day) Up to £1.00 + up to £1 for 15MB in a day. £2 for every additional MB.
Web browsing (incl live!)** (First 15MB in a day) Up to £1.00 ** you can visit the Vodafone live! home page and My Account for free. Up to £1 for 15MB in a day. £2 for every additional MB.
The only mention of an "unlimited" package is under the Mobile Internet section - as an add-on to pay monthly contracts priced at £7.50/m.
So I spoke to Vodafone New Connections who revealed that although they were aware the offer wasn't mentioned on the web site, as a "special", they could "build" Mobile Internet in for £5/m instead of £7.50 if I signed up for it with the certain "selected" 18 month contracts. Only the first month would be free. If I decided to add it later, it would be £7.50/m, as it always has been.
The Vodafone press release statement claim that "pay monthly customers will no longer need to buy an additional internet bundle for £7.50 but instead every plan will automatically include internet access."
is cleverly worded. In fact all they are actually saying is that all new Pay Monthly SIMS are data enabled so that internet access
without reconfiguration, and that the previous FUP has beeen increased to 500MB. In a strict sense their statement is true, which is why they got away with it. You don't actually need
to buy the £7.50 bundle to have access
the internet. But to use
it, you will have to either pay the daily per-MB rates shown above, or buy a data bundle as before.
The key exp
ressions they throw in about internet access being "without ... additional charges"
and "with no extra costs"
are more word play - all it means is that the costs are fixed. Not that they are free, or included, in a standard contract.
Although the obvious intention of the press release wording is to suggest the opposite (or at best be ambiguous), the "new" "unlimited" 500MB Internet service is neither included, nor free. To this day, it's not included in the published web site pricing or plan details, it's not mentioned on the Mobile Internet page, it costs a minimum of £5 on top of the advertised tarrifs, and you have to ask for it to get it.
As I pointed out at the time, the whole thing is just an excercise in marketing speak. It just shows how poor journalism is these days, when spin like this is blindly taken at face value - even by major "industry" commentators. All the media just lapped it up and spouted out the headlines, without even so much as a glance at the small print.
What's even more galling, is that people are still being misled that the bundle is "free", even by respected sites like this, which continue to support the myth long after the error has been pointed out. I note the "editorial" on the news article STILL hasn't been corrected.
"to get half a gig of data bundled into your price plan for free is pretty blooming awesome IMHO!"