Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So just how do the mobile data evangelists square this then?

I am trying to finish two blog posts at present but things keep getting in the way.

Just had to post about Ewan's problems with Vodafone and data charges.

His solution following a chat with another member of the Customer Service team is no long term solution but rather a way to exit a contract that he feels is unfair.

I had a similar issue with the rates that Orange wanted to charge me for unlimited data useage last year. The good news was that I had the name and number of the head of the executive office and after a short call managed to get the to fix the problem and refund the over charge. It took them two months to resolve the issue. It also highlighted holes in the billing systems used by the operator.

So with a disconnect between Marketing and Operations just how will the networks enter the market? Ewan is now unhappy with both T-Mobile and Vodafone. He intends to try 3 on the basis of cost. In a market that sees everyone who wants a mobile having two the networks need to retain customers. With termination rates falling they seek to replace declining revenues from Voice by selling people something new, Data. This sale is not informed as they have little understanding of what a normal user consumes and so cannot price accordingly. With the investments made in 3G the Network needs to find some form of ROI or it will not build the networks, see O2.

If all those who spoke at Mobile Portal Strategy last week are to deliver the vision of Mobile they hold then they have to remove the bill shock. Why did Vodafone not have a Credit Control process in place that gave Ewan a warning that he had used his allowance and then it was his dicision to stop or pay through the nose? Ewan is not the only one to be surprised by the cost of Data. The Bloke in the Pub effect will mean that Mobile Data falls into the WAP is C**P sector if the networks do not quickly resolve pricing.

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