Social-media loving Vodafone customers should prepare to quell their mobile sharing habits. Starting from February 13, prepaid users will find that data from Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and a number of other social media sites will count towards their usage, though the bigger blow is that all data will be charged in one megabyte blocks, instead of 25KB ones.
A brief message announcing the changes can be found on Vodafone's website, however, I couldn't find a direct link to this message on Vodafone's website or blog after 10 minutes of searching. A user on Whirlpool only became aware of the change after seeing a notice entitled "Head's up" at one of the company's retail outlets. If you're a prepaid Vodafone customer, let us know if the company has reached out to you in any way.
For everyone else, here's the notice in its entirety:
From 13 February, infinite surfing on Facebook®, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, You Tube and MySpace within Australia won’t be part of any recharge. If you currently have infinite social networking included in your recharge, you will still be able to access those sites, but from the 13th of February, your usage will be taken from your data allowance. After you have used that up, surfing will be taken from your Flexible Credit.
We're also changing the way we charge for data to bring all of our Prepaid recharges into line. From 13th February, we will charge data usage in 1MB increments with a minimum session of 1MB on all recharge plans. The dollar amount we charge per MB of data is remaining the same.
To keep the impact to a minimum, try and connect via WiFi wherever possible – you can save a lot of data usage that way.
Speaking with The Age, a Vodafone spokesperson stated some customers were confused by what free social media actually meant. For example, accessing a site such as Twitter using an intermediary, rather than the official app, would count towards a user's downloads. The spokesperson also mentioned that the changes would only affect 117,000 — 4.5 per cent — of Vodafone's 2.6 million prepaid users.
For the time being, post-paid customers are to be spared the charges per megabyte block, though the $2 unlimited social media pack is likely to be axed as well.