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The rise of the Vodaphobe

It seems there might be an underclass of mobile phone users: those connected to the Vodafone network. But could the issues soon spread to other network providers?

This week we look at what’s gone wrong for Vodafone. Not so long ago it revelled in delighting its customers with good service and enticing giveaways. Problems began when we started using data-hungry 3G phones. Some customers complained about poor coverage then, not getting their issues resolved, they started to harp on about poor customer service.

This week we hear from Adam Brimo, the disgruntled customer behind the Vodafail website. He talks to us on his mobile, now switched to another network. And Sasha Ivantsoff, a partner in law firm Piper Alderman tells us about the proposed class action lawsuit, now with more than 20,000 registrants.

Industry analyst Paul Budde explains how Vodafone’s problems started in Australia, with not enough customers to warrant the investment. He predicts the issues will extend to other carriers as mobile access, like fixed-line services, becomes just another low-margin commodity. Does that mean the other carriers could soon be facing the same issues as Vodafone? What can the mobile carriers do to safeguard their future and get these angry customers off their backs?

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