6/11/2010 10:44:00 AM
Vodafone backtracks on tariff changes
Vodafone has been forced to backtrack on changes it made to its business tariffs in May.
Last month, the operator introduced Vodafone Business Choice aimed at SMEs, which was due to replace Vodafone Total Business from 31 May onwards.
However, Vodafone’s indirect partners were unhappy that Vodafone Total Business was dropped from the operator’s portfolio of business tariffs.
Following feedback from the dealer channel, Vodafone decided to make Total Business available to existing and new customers until 1 July.
Dealers were informed of the u-turn through a Yes Telecom bulletin from Vodafone head of indirect sales Rob Shardlow. The bulletin, seen by Mobile, was titled: ‘The partner benefits from our improved voice, email and data tariffs.’
The bulletin outlined the benefits of Business Choice and Business Essentials – another new tariff aimed at the SOHO market.
It also said: ‘Specifically, in response to your feedback: We are keeping Vodafone Total Business open for renewal and growth within existing customers for the foreseeable future. Vodafone Total Business is remaining open until 1 July for new customer acquisition deals in your pipeline.’
Vodafone’s tariff overhaul had met anger from dealers. One said: ‘It is basically more expensive and the biggest problem from a retention point of view is convincing businesses to migrate to Vodafone Business Choice which can be up to £200 more a month. It seems like they are targeting high value business customers and solo connections.’
A Vodafone spokesman said: ‘We know email and internet on the move is increasingly important for businesses of all sizes, and to enable more customers to benefit from mobile email and data on our reliable network we have made simpler, great value tariffs combining voice and data.
‘However, we recognize that in the short term some of our existing customers may not be ready to offer email to all their employees, and from listening to feedback from our partners, we’ve decided Vodafone Total Business will continue to be available for existing voice only customers for the foreseeable future.’