Vodafone Plans ‘Significant’ Job Cuts, 4G Still Next Year

Tough times continue for Australia’s number three telco. Vodafone Australia today announced “a significant reduction in the number of office roles across the country to enable a leaner, more effective operating model.” CEO Bill Morrow said that after “reviewing the business in detail”, the company can best improve customer experience by completing the first phase of its DC-HSPA+ service (aka 3G+ network) and streamlining internal processes.

Translation: When you’ve lost that many customers, you don’t need as many staff...and the number of axed jobs is likely to be in the hundreds.

Customer Complaints

Morrow claimed that Vodafone's recent network improvements have resulted in a “50 per cent reduction in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and, notably, a reduction in network-related complaints.” That's backed up by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) report released today, though Vodafone did see an overall increase in complaints:

Complaints about Vodafone have also continued to rise (11 per cent), but the issues in these complaints have changed from last year. The ssues that prevailed in Vodafone’s complaints in 2010-11 about its well publicised network problems have reduced significantly. However, mobile-associated issues such as inadequate spend controls and internet usage charges have had significant increases.

Network Improvements?

Vodafone is nearing the completion of its first phase of its improvements: increased network transmission speed, faster radio technology with Vodafone 3G+ (DC-HSPA+) protocols; and, the replacement of nearly all radio equipment. Customers now apparently have access to:

• Increased download speeds up to 8 megabytes per second on 60 per cent of the Vodafone network; • 3G data session and call set-up rates now improved to reach Vodafone Group’s benchmark levels; • Dropped calls reduced by one third in metro areas; and, • First-call customer care resolution rates improved by almost one-third in the company's call centres.

Has your experience improved of late?

Meanwhile, Vodafone’s 4G plans remain firmly pencilled in for 2013, though we still don’t have any dates.

More: Australian 4G Frequencies Explained [Updated]

Image credit: Getty Images



    8 megabytes per second? I'm changing to Vodafone!

      Maybe they mean Megabits.

        on 60 per cent of the Vodafone network;
        only when you're within that 60 per cent, when ? seems like next year....or never...

    1. No improvement
    2. No improvement
    3. No improvement
    4. Don't know as the calls keep dropping out

      That sound fit the company's name "What-the-F...."

    ive been with Vodafone for 13 years since i got my first phone. the last 6 month in the Syd CBD have been the worst. not so much dropped call but failing to ring in or out when i have full signal

      This! Data connectivity in Sydney CBD (Wynyard, specifically) has degraded over the last 6 months IMO.

    Update: Apparently Vodafone is to axe 500 jobs

    I really only have one issue with Vodafone - planning. I went into a Vodafne store to ask about WP8. The store clerks knew nothing. Now how to do they expect to get ahead if they're not educating their staff and finding ways to get their hooks into customers.

      To answer the question:- Yes my data service has progressively improved across Sydney though there are still some small patches where none of the phones I've tested with will get a signal.

    I never had major issues with voice services, but I will say data has improved from nigh-on unusable to merely infuriating, so bravo? It's unfortunate, but a shiny little blue "H" next to the signal meter doesn't mean anything without the infrastructure beyond the nearest tower to back it up, and I'm not seeing any great leaps in that regard.

    Better? Certainly.
    Good? Nyeh.

    When I can load a Facebook page from a peak hour train between Central and Redfern in less time than it takes to actually get from Central to Redfern, I might revise my opinion. Until then, I'll be counting down the minutes until my (recently bricked) handset is paid off and I can jump ship.

    Last edited 29/10/12 3:04 pm

    I have no idea how Vodafone have copped so much flack while Optus is unscathed. From experience Optus network is absolutely woeful, while their customer support is terrible until the TIO is involved. Vodafone are offering satisfaction guaruntees while Optus offer no improvements.

      Weird, you paid to use their "Support" instead of their "Service"....try make a phone call to their support using the hotline, too hot to hear a thing, Dang.

        Given 9/10 calls I made on Optus would drop out or go into some garbled transformer sounding bullshit on the line, my partner had the same problem, my friends on optus all had the same problems, once I used the TIO to get out they all followed.

        I have a phone to make fkn phonecalls, Telstra are the only telco I can rely on for that service and the only telco that will get my business.

        Optus are no better than Vodafone.

        Last edited 30/10/12 7:58 am

    It is still very hit and miss for me. And I am yet to see any 8MBps. The most I can get is 3MBps. And that is very hard to get on most days. I have my phone and iPad with vodafone. I've been with Voda since 2001 and I'm ready to give them up.

    Last edited 29/10/12 3:16 pm

      You mean your ipad and phone, let me know so I can pick them up, thx...

    Considering how much cheaper Telstra has got and how much better Optus is over Vodafone at the same price, you'd have to be a fucking idiot to use Vodafone.

      True that!

      Now that my vodafone contract has expired and the Telstra options were $2 cheaper per month I thought I'd see what Vodafone can offer to keep me as a customer.

      Reply from VF Rep: It is easy to change to another provider, have Telstra initiate the transfer so that you can keep your number!

      They must be wanting to shed some customers as well as staff!

      Long story short I am taking his advice and going to Telstra.

    I can't get 8mbits/sec let alone 1 or even 250kbits/sec at the best of times.. I'm not sure where they get their numbers from but it's certainly not accurate for me. I've frankly given up even bothering to turn 3G on these days.. it's that bad. When I first got my phone, for the first 6 months or so, I had no trouble whatsoever.. but for the last 9 months or so, it's been getting worse and worse and worse. I'd be lucky to get 100kbits/sec now and the signal drops out constantly even if I am just sitting in the same spot.

    In my experience, the "improvements" are actually just the opposite.

    I'll be switching to Telstra next year.

    Well I use vodafone, and I don't consider myself an idiot (though it's not the first time I've heard that opinion).

    The simple fact of the matter is to get my plan ($750 calls, free sms/mms, 8Gb data) on Telstra would cost $140, Optus would cost $100 per month (with only 4Gb included data), and Virgin would cost $79 per month (same as Vodafone, inlcudes the 8Gb I want) - these prices were worked out by taking the highest BYO plan for each carrier and adding a data pack, except virgin because they have just the right plan plus if I went BYO I could save $10.

    For me, Telstra is not cheaper and even Optus is still more expensive (except the virgin option, but the data congestion on their APN is terrible).

    I first joined Vodafone in Nov 2011 (for my main phone, I had a mobile broadband contract and various trial runs on prepaid before that) as the 850 network rollout was just gathering steam. In that time i've seen download speeds increase from 1-2mbps to 4-8mbps in the "good" areas of Adelaide. I have seen 8mbps but it is still rare (current phone is a HTC One X, capable of 21mbps).

    Where it's bad though, it's terrible. Examples include Gawler, parts of Elizabeth, Smithfield - many low socio-economic areas. The planned upgrades in these areas keep getting pushed back but it's a catch-22 situation. In "3G Limited" areas (the new coverage maps are a fantastic innovation by the way) I don't think there is anything vodafone could do to permanently fix the problem. Many people living there have 3G as their only internet (due to the cost of land-based ADSL + can't afford a mobile & land internet as well), so whilst you can stand in a good area and get 8mbps at 7am, later in the day and into the evening you will be back to less than 300kbps, sometimes even less than 100kbps. The problem could get worse with the NBN.

    In these areas 2G outperforms 3G frequently, sometimes 2G/EDGE is double the speed and this should never be the case. If this doesn't change in my local area by the end of 2013 I might have to consider other options - whilst I have wifi at home and that's great, it's still a pain to switch to 2G everytime you walk to the train station or the shops just to stream a 64kbps radio stream without constant buffering, then remember to switch back afterwards.

    I like vodafone I really do. The good areas have had significant improvements but in some of these low socio economic areas, they have significant work to do.

    Last edited 29/10/12 4:13 pm

    In over 16.5 years with Vodafone I only started to have problems last year. Phone call diversions to voicemail for unexplained reasons, voicemail delivered the next day or later, ditto for SMS, and total ineptness by those employed at the call centre.

    Notice I make no mention of mobile data. I use WiFi. I use Vodafone data if I can't find a WiFi hotspot and only for weather and email. With number portability the only reason I haven't moved on are my plans are old and CHEAP...very cheap.

      You are lucky then.

      Had ongoing issues in the heart of the city where I work for many years. Phone would say that I have all bars but the data transfer was SLOW (3 minutes to open google home page).
      Figured I'd do a bit of testing:
      * Disabled laptop WiFi so as to have no internet connection.
      * Tethered phone to laptop (using usb and phones 3g).
      * Commenced ping to external DNS via Desktop and laptop.
      * 100% reply on desktop
      * With all bars available, 80% loss rate on laptop.

      No wonder I was not able to use internet on my phone.

    I have been with Vodafone for more than a few years now. Most of their problems started when they bought 3. They never should have bought 3. 3 gave them so much problems.
    It does not help when they shift customer services overseas. Then they have alot of hardware cell towers issues ( still do ) They also have alot of billing issues with incorrect bills etc. Then they must have staff morale problem because the Australian staff that you rarely get to speak to on the phone are rude and do not give two toss about the problems customers have. There retail store is just a tragedy, sometimes you have to queue up for over 30 minutes just to get a microSim card. Staff at retail store do not know how to prioritise. Short enquiries and signing contracts are 2 very different customers one you need to spend 4 minutes and the other 45 minutes and why make customers who only need 4 minutes to wait 45 ninutes? Most of their retail store staff also do not have good attitude they think they are doing customers a favor by tending to you not the other way around. So yes Vodfone, it's been a long time coming, sack them all!

    I was with Voda and ditched them after getting fed up with supposed data charges of over $700...

    I'm now with amaysim, and for 40 bucks a month i get unlimited everything and 4gb of data- and if i want more it only costs me 10 bucks per gig.

    no other carriers can match this, and i'm yet to have dramas with call drop-outs etc that come even remotely close to the hell vodafone put me through.

    never again!

    Been with Vodafone only since February, and network speeds have definitely improved for me
    Getting speeds of above 2Mbps a lot more often, I know this is laughable compared to Telstra, but hey it's an improvement
    Maximum speeds I've seen on a speed test app Is 7.8Mbps, gone above 7Mbps a few times

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