Virtual Voda Admits ‘Issues’ But Fights Back

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Vodafone have gone virtual. The troubled telco has come out all guns blazing against the recent backlash, introducing virtual services for customers, meaning it will call back 24/7 rather than put you on hold.

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The troubled telco has come out all guns blazing against the recent backlash it received about its poor service in recent months adding 300 staff and getting its offering back on track.

“We had a number of network and service challenges at the end of 2010 and early 2011 and we are now making significant investment and improvements in the Vodafone network,” admits Vodafone. director of Customer Service, Cormac Hodgkinson.

“Some of the network issues at the start of the year, and the ensuing rise in the number of complaints we received impacted customer service. This was difficult for our customers to endure, so we changed the way we operate to make things easier for our customers.”

A recent report from Telecoms Ombudsman saw a Vodafone customer complaints sky rocket 222% to over 35,000. VHA, which now includes the 3 network, were subject to a further 19,046 – a 40.5% increase.

In total there was an 180% rise in new complaints about mobile service, mainly about poor coverage and service drop-outs, which it attributed, in part, to the Vodafone debacle.

However, the telco says it has better equipped in store and contact centre staff to resolve complaints, adding 300 staff in contact centres, which are now open round the clock for both prepaid and postpaid users.

It also says it has “placed a “high priority on addressing the processes that cause customer frustration to reduce wait times.

It has also introduced ‘virtual hold’ so customers get a call back, rather than waiting on hold for service during peak times. Users can book a return call for service at a time that is most convenient to them.

Extra support on Twitter and Facebook is also part of the line up. Its state of the art customer contact system, ‘One Connect,’ will monitor all service channels (including Vodafone’s contact centre, Twitter and Facebook accounts and Vodafone’s eForum) at all times and then route the enquiry to the customer service representative with the best skill to respond – chopping service times.

So, the next time you have a service issue a response shoud be immediate.

Earlier this year Vodafone announced it had fast-tracked its $1 billion network investment after it was dubbed Vodafail, following a vast call failure and drop out rate on its network.

Overnight teams are now replacing equipment across 60 sites a night, with the new 850MHz network rolling out simultaneously. 4G is also being introduced as part of the network upgrade.

 

And things are looking up for the red telco.

In metropolitan areas the average 3G dropped call rate is down to 0.5%.

Whether the class action by disgruntled customers against Vodafone Hutchinson Australia is still going ahead is unclear, although funding was said to be an issue, according to recent reports.

However, lawyers Piper Alderman, who took the case are still inviting disgruntled customers to join the action on their website and say 20,000 people have already express their interest in joining the action.

“We are in the process of preparing materials for submission to a litigation funder to fund the legal costs of the Vodafone class action.”

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