From MB to KB: Telco dumps plans to charge data per megabyte for pre pay, after backlash.

Vodafone moved quickly to #Vodafix data charges back to per KB pricing yesterday, after it announced changes just last week due to go into effect February 13.

The surprise U-turn means pre pay users will likely now pay less on their mobile Internet usage.

Vodafone responded to customers’ call by introducing per kB data charging, which means 2.6 million customers will be charged for what they use rather than per MB blocks, it said in a statement today.
‘We’ll also be dropping the existing minimum data session to 1kB for all our prepaid customers.” 

The decision follows ‘feedback’ from Vodafone prepaid customers last week, who expressed concern about per megabyte charging, the telco said.

Indeed, Vodafone was at the receiving end of major customer vitriol, and the outcry to the changes was “surprising,” a Vodafone spokesperson told SmartHouse.

The telco surveyed 10,000 customers before Christmas on the plans, which received ‘general acceptance’.

However, the spokesperson indicated other changes to simplify mobile charges may be on the way, although they have nothing to announce just yet.

There was a slew of vitriolic messages on Vodafone Facebook page, after last week’s announcement.

“So vodaphone is going to charge more for downloads now and no free facebook etc. See Yeah Lost Me. Boost HERE I COME,” one wrote.

Another said: “It’s really going to stuff things up for those of us who have lousy connections, because I constantly lose mine, probably about 50 times a day or more, so i guess i will be turning my phone off until my plan runs out because i will not pay any extra.”

The move to appease customers comes after Vodafone was branded ‘Vodafail’ by users after its network ran into severe difficulties with calls dropping and slow Internet a regular occurrence for millions of users in late 2010 – 11.

It has since put over $1bn investment into 3G and 3G + network.

 “We value customer input that helps us deliver pricing that is simple and makes sense. We are determined to show our customers we are listening,” declared Cormac Hodgkinson, Vodafone’s Director of Customer Care

“There’s no denying data pricing is confusing, industry-wide.”

Voda now says it is the the only major telco provider offering 1KB pricing.

“Our intention is to introduce a consistent rate across our prepaid plans, and there’s more than one way we can do this,” Hodgkinson said.

 “We have some of the best value plans in market and, now, 2.6 million customers will benefit from simpler pricing. Pay only for the data you use – it doesn’t get much simpler than that.”

“Thank you to all our customers who took the time to talk to us. Please do not stop. It’s what drives the way we do business,”  he added.

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