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ACCAN welcomes Vodafone Chief Executive Nigel Dews’s apology to millions of frustrated customers who have experienced network problems in recent months and says it marks the start of a long journey back for the company to restore its customer service reputation.

Recent media reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph have drawn mainstream attention to the issue and popular tech site Whirlpool.net’s forums have been abuzz for months with stories of frequent call drop outs, slow or no internet connectivity and delayed text messages.

But an unknown Vodafone customer, who signed a contract with Vodafone just six weeks ago, brought the issue to a head with the website he or she established a week ago, www.vodafail.com.

Since its inception, Vodafail.com has had more than 10,000 hits and details over 1,000 personal stories from extremely unhappy customers. There is a ratings’ system that allows users to rate the level of “Vodafail” and even a T-shirt you can buy.

“We are really pleased to see that Nigel Dews has offered an apology to affected customers on the Vodafone website, and we hope that Vodafone will also be sending texts, emails or letters to all its customers who may have missed it,” said ACCAN Chief Executive Teresa Corbin.

ACCAN says Vodafone’s biggest problem has been the lack of communication about the problems the network was experiencing. Mr Dews admitted as much in his statement, saying “It’s clear we could have done a better job at keeping you across what’s been happening.”

Ms Corbin said “We’ve heard from many affected customers who complained to Vodafone but who weren’t told there were any problems. Vodafone has seriously damaged their brand and customer service reputation by not keeping customers informed about what was going on.”

Vodafone has assured its customers that the problems will be fixed in the new year and ACCAN says some customers may be appeased by a discount on their bill or a credit for previous ones.

“Our message to all telcos is this: network problems will occur from time to time, and customers understand that. But if you’re in the communications business, you have to let people know what’s going on or you will risk losing your customers for good.”

Affected Vodafone customers are advised to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman if they are not able to resolve the issue to their satisfaction with Vodafone.

Download: Media Release.pdf

Download: Media Release.doc