Vodafone offers free SMS for Easter outage

Vodafone will offer customers free SMS messaging over 12 hours on 1 May this year as compensation for a network outage over the weekend.

The telco’s customers were left without the ability to use SMS messaging between 2.30pm and 9.15pm on Sunday 24 April as the result of a technical fault.

“The disruption to SMS was caused by a network fault in one of our exchanges,” a spokesperson for the company told Computerworld Australia. “Engineers are currently completing their investigation, but the fault was an isolated issue that affected the core network elements which manage our SMS traffic.

“We are sorry for inconvenience that Sunday’s issue caused to customers. We are progressing well with our accelerated network improvement plan and the network remains our highest priority.”

The outage coincided with the beginning of upgrades to the Vodafone network, with five base stations replaced by engineers at key points on the NSW Central Coast.

The telco announced free messaging between 8am and 8pm on 1 May as a form of apology in a blog entry posted over the weekend.

Consumer complaints website Vodafail, established last year to consolidate increasing frustration over the Vodafone network, recommended customers complain directly to Vodafone and potential contact the telecommunications ombudsman.

Consumer advocacy group the Australia Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) said the outage was yet another of Vodafone’s technical problems to impact on millions of customers. However, a spokesperson congratulated the telco on a providing hasty response and continued updates on the issue.

“When there’s outages of this scale, customers are always inconvenienced in individual ways and for those customers for whom a day of free texts is not enough, ACCAN would encourage them to contact Vodafone to ask them for what they’d like in terms of compensation, whether it’s a day’s free access in terms of their monthly bill or some other form of compensation,” they said.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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