A couple of weeks back the Vodafone network was down. Now the telco is giving customers free data this weekend as a peace offering.
This story has been updated to include comment from Vodafone in reference to its Fair Use Policy.
What happened during the outage
The Vodafone outage was significant, to say the least. Issues began on the morning of April 9 and they continued into the early evening.
While some customers only experienced data services falling back to 3G, others were unable to access data or phone services at all.
I personally didn’t have any service until around 5:30pm AEST.
“Mobile customers may experience difficulties making calls and experience slower data speeds this afternoon while services return to normal,” Vodafone said on social media during the outage.
“We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank customers for their patience.”
Vodafone has now put free data on the menu
Now Vodafone is looking to make up for the outage. Text messages went out to customers on Thursday morning, explaining the free data weekend.
“As you are aware, we recently experienced an issue which disrupted our 4G mobile services,” the text message read.
“We’re sorry for the impact this caused you and as a gesture of goodwill, we’re offering FREE data services to customers this weekend.”
From 12.01am 24 April to 11.59pm 25 April Vodafone will be giving mobile, mobile broadband and prepaid customers free data.
This also extends to customers on expired prepaid plans.
“You’ll be able to access the free data from an expired prepaid service, as long as you last recharged within 365 days,” Vodafone has said.
If you’re already on unlimited data, you may be wondering how this benefits you.
According to the Vodafone website, this weekend’s free data won’t have any speed restrictions attached.
“The free data you’ll get this weekend can be used at unrestricted speeds,” the site reads.
“Any infinite or endless data you normally receive as part of your plan is throttled at the speed relevant to your plan.”
This won’t be the case this weekend.
Vodafone doesn’t seem to have included any restrictions
There are no terms and conditions on the Vodafone landing page for this offer, so it’s not entirely obvious if any restrictions apply.
However, Vodafone has responded to Gizmodo Australia’s queries about this, saying that its Fair Use Policy will be applied to the free data weekend.
“Throughout the weekend, there won’t be a cap on customer data speeds, however as always our network is configured to ensure fair and equitable data use across all eligible users and we remind customers our Fair Use Policy will apply during this time,” Vodafone said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
The Fair Use Policy is vague enough to cover Vodafone if someone went to absolutely town on the network.
“Unacceptable” means using the Service in a manner that may create risks to the performance, security or integrity of any network or system (including Our own), and includes using the Service:
Section seven of the policy states that it is “unacceptable” or customers to use “the Service in a manner that may create risks to the performance, security or integrity of any network or system (including Our own).”
The policy goes onto state that this includes “causing interference, disruption, congestion or, more generally, sub-optimal performance of a system or network.”
For those who don’t remember, back in 2016 a Sydney bloke downloaded an entire terabyte of data on the Telstra network in a single day.
Much like Vodafone this week, this occurred during a free data day offered by Telstra to make up for a network outage.