UPDATE: The glitch was fixed at about 10am this morning, according to a statement from Vodafone:
Our prepaid recharge system was restored at around 10am this morning. We are sorry for the inconvenience the system outage caused. From 3pm yesterday and until around 1pm today prepaid customers who have run out of credit have been able to make free calls and send free SMS to keep in touch with family and friends.
Customers with recharge vouchers that they have purchased and tried to apply (unsuccessfully) to their accounts can now be reapplied by calling 1511 or go to myvodafone.com.au and following the normal prompts.
In a post on the Vodafone blog yesterday morning, Vodafone announced:
We are currently experiencing a problem with the technology that allows our prepaid customers to apply recharge credit to their account. Prepaid customers with existing credit are able to make and receive calls as normal, however, the fault is preventing our customer service staff in-store and within our contact centre from manually applying prepaid recharge credit to our customers’ accounts. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible and we will let you know as soon as this issue is resolved, and new prepaid credit can be applied to your account. We apologise for the current inconvenience.
By 4:15pm, the problem was still in effect, but Cormac Hodgkinson, Director of Customer Service and Experience at Vodafone made a concession to prepaid customers:
Just wanted to let you know our prepaid recharge systems are still down, but in the meantime if you run out of credit we’ll make all your national standard voice calls free.
SMS is currently unavailable, but we’re working hard to make SMS also available, and we’ll let you know as soon as they are operational again and you need to recharge.
We know you rely on our service and we want to ensure we can keep you in touch with your family and friends. The calls will remain uncharged for those who run out of credit until we get our system back up and running.
Sorry for any inconvenience and we’ll keep you updated when more information comes to hand.
And at 7:24pm, Cormac backed up with the promise of free national SMS to prepaid customers out of credit until they fix the problem.
It’s a big blow to the network that has been criticised for poor network performance, been thrown up against the privacy commission and now this. Hope things turn around for the network soon…