Vodafone Users Tied To Contracts, Despite Poor Service
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This ACCC warning comes despite ongoing issues with the mobile provider.
Consumers, who have been reported as experiencing ongoing problems with Vodafone’s mobile service, including call failures, slow data speeds and poor reception, are not necessarily entitled to end their contract, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has said in a statement.

The telco attributed the recent problems to unstable software issues, which meant slower 3G data downloads.

“Contrary to some media reports the ACCC does not advise consumers that they are entitled to walk away from their contracts as a means of addressing their concerns,” according to ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

The consumer body advised users experiencing service difficulties to firstly contact Vodafone to try to resolve the issue.

Other avenues open to consumers are the Telecoms ombudsman and the Office of Fair Trading.  

 

This year all of the major carriers including Telstra and Optus have been attacked by the Government for failing to deliver effective customer service.

Service providers should be keeping their customers fully informed of any problems that they may be experiencing with their networks, says the ACCC.

However, the ombudsman did say that “all contracts for services contain a number of statutory warranties, including the requirement that any service must be carried with due care and skill.”

However, the law governing this area also states “services that do not meet a statutory warranty breach the contract between consumer and seller,” which if proven, could indicate the point at which consumers are entitled to walk away from phone contracts without penalties.

Affected customers would be offered refunds, Vodafone chief technology officer Michael Young, said earlier this month.

Earlier this month, Vodafone announced a ramped up service for users, offering a walk in service centre with 24 hour turnaround time for phone repair, help with product support and troubleshooting, upgrades, second services and other enquiries.