Vodafone faces post-paid plunge as customer complaints take a toll

Vodafone faces post-paid plunge as customer complaints take a toll

Vodafone latest financials have revealed a significant quarterly drop in UK post-paid adds.

The figures, revealed in the network’s preliminary financial results for the year ended 31 March 2016, showed that new mobile contract customers fell from 94,000 in Q3 2015 to 1,000 in Q4 of the same year.

The network has come under fire over the last year for consecutively receiving the highest level of Ofcom complaints. The issues centred around Vodafone billing systems, which the network said was undergoing a migration to a new system.

Colao remains positive

Speaking at a media roundtable, Group CEO Vittorio Colaeo remained confident that the network’s luck would soon change. He said the network’s £2bn investment into customer service would pay off by the summer.

He said: ‘We have reduced 75% of complaints so far and by the end of summer it [the billing migration] should be done and then in the second half of the year we expect to return to commercial strength. We have made a lot of investments and brought in a lot of people but it is still an IT system and so it is complex.’

Demand for data

Outside the UK, Vodafone reported its first positive revenue growth for the first time in eight years, with global revenues hitting £41bn. The business attributed this to strong demand for 4G data which it said was fuelled viewing content on the move.

This was reflected in the UK, where the network bolstered its 4G customer base to seven million. Vodafone said it had focused on giving its customers greater control of their spending outside a contract. This led to an increased demand for data add on services and in-bundle revenue growth which grew from the previous year.

Colao commented: ‘This has been a year of strong execution for the Group, returning to organic growth in both revenue and EBITDA for the first time since 2008. We achieved the first quarter of positive revenue growth in Europe since December 2010 while growth in AMAP accelerated with strong performance in South Africa, Turkey and Egypt. EBITDA margins also grew year-on-year, supported by our cost efficiency programmes.

‘We have now successfully concluded our Project Spring organic investment programme. This has transformed the quality of our technology, enhancing our customers' experience and enabling us to expand our Enterprise services.

'We are pleased to be the leader or co-leader in mobile network quality tests and Net Promoter Scores in the majority of our markets. We have also posted a record quarter of net additions in fixed as our convergence strategy continues to accelerate.'

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