Vodafone enters UK iPhone market

September 29, 2009

So O2’s exclusive contract with Apple and the iPhone has come to an end…

Again…

Vodafone has reached an agreement to sell Apple’s popular iPhone in the UK.

More from BBC News.

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Vodafone agrees new Carphone deal

July 4, 2009

BBC News reports on Vodafone allowing Carphone Warehouse to start selling Vodafone Pay Monthly contracts again.

Carphone Warehouse is to restart selling Vodafone mobile phone contracts, three years after Vodafone pulled the products from the retailer.

Vodafone stopped allowing Carphone Warehouse to sell its range of pay monthly deals in 2006 after a dispute over how much commission it had to pay.


Vodafone criticised

August 16, 2008

BBC reports on criticism of Vodafone about recent “hidden” price rises.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) has criticised Vodafone for increasing mobile phonecall costs without telling its customers.

Vodafone plans to raise minimum call charges by 25%.

But a letter inserted into July’s bills stated the new price list but failed to mention they were going up.

So have Vodafone hidden these price rises? They certainly didn’t mention them, which when you consider the ease of switching phone providers means that customers are more fickle now than five years ago.

Problem with hiding such price rises is when people find out and the resulting bad publicity. Marketing through that can be challenging.


Vodafone complaint upheld, on “unlimited” ad

June 15, 2008

The ASA have upheld a complaint about a Vodafone advert which according to the ASA implied unlimited mobile internet.

The advert said “Any website, any time. £7.50 a month. Make the most of now.” It was only in the small print at the bottom of the advert which said that there was in fact a 120MB limit!

The ASA said

However, we considered that consumers would also infer from the headline claim that they could access the internet as often as they liked for £7.50 a month.

We noted there was a disclaimer stating “120MB UK data allowance per month” at the bottom of the ad, but considered that this was not prominent enough to avoid being overlooked and also that it contradicted the impression created by the headline claim. We considered that the download allowance was a significant condition attached to the service and was likely to influence consumers’ decisions about whether to purchase the product. Because that information was not stated in, or immediately next to, the headline claim, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead about the nature of the service being offered.

I have to agree with the ASA, the implication of the advert was any time, any where, when ever you wanted. However a 120MB download limit in this era of photographs, YouTube’esque video, audio podcasts and other media-rich internet means that 120Mb (even on a phone) would not really be sufficient for a month, and I suspect a lot of users would go over this limit and then be hit with high charges.

When marketing new goods and services to customers you need to ensure that not only do you upsell the benefits and features of  your product, but that you do not breach ASA codes on advertising, by “hiding” or “misleading” consumers on the full details of the product.

The role of the ASA and other regulatory bodies is to ensure that companies do not breach either legal regulations or voluntary codes when operating in the business environment.

Full adjudication.