Vodafone 3G data connect card

  jimmylove 10:26 29 Jun 2004

I've had this for about three months and love it - consistent speeds of 384kps, a tiny footprint and dead simple software make it indispensible for working on the road.
I signed up for 25MB per month including a bonus of double that for 12 months (i.e 50MB per month) for £20 plus VAT. Extra MBs are £1.50 each, but I figure I'd never need more than the 50MB provided. Recently came back from a business trip to Italy where I used about 8MB and just got a bill for over £80! The 8MB in Italy cost over £45. Now I wasn't dumb enough to assume that using the 3G system abroad would be included in the free 50MB per month, but neither was I told of the charges that would be levied if I used the card abroad. In fact none of the bumpf that came with the card detailed anything about pricing.
It gets interesting when I called up Vodafone this morning. The billing guy I spoke to was very nice but had absolutely no idea about charges. He first told me I'd be charged £1.50 per MB wherever I used the card. I explained that this couldn't be the case because I hadn't used the card that much in Italy. He said he'd call me back. 20 minutes later he called and said it was "about £5 per MB" in Italy. I asked him if 'about' meant exactly or was it more or less right. He maintained it was £5 per MB in Italy. I then asked him what if it was the same cost in Amsterdam (going there in a couple of weeks) and he said that no, every country had different prices. So I asked (not unreasonably) for a list of all prices to be sent to me. His response was: "It's all on our website". So I asked him for the link to the exact page (vodafone is surely one of the most clumsy to navigate). He puts mne on hold for 10 minutes and then comes back and says "OK. Go to our site and type in 'data charges' in the search box" which I do. "Now has anything come up?" he asks. I tell him that 200 results are showing and ask him what he's been doing to 10 minutes while I was holding if all he can suggest is a rudimentary search. He just says "Well it's definitely up there. Can I help you with anything else?". I tell him he works for Vodafone and he doesn't know where this list is, how does he expect me to find it?
I'm now waiting for him to call me back and give me what I originally asked for.
Now apart from the extortionate charges (£5 per MB!), I want to ask you guys if you think I have a case for getting some kind of refund; I wasn't told about the extra charges, have no information about them and even a billing CSR from Vodafone can't tell me what these charges are. Am I making too big a deal about this? I imagine most business users simply expense it and these charges get swallowed up, but I'm annoyed on principle at the disorganisation and wildly varying charges for this otherwise useful service.
Feedback gratefully received...

  jimmylove 10:52 29 Jun 2004

He just called me back and told me that they won't publish or send out any details about prices as they could change so quickly and it was nothing to do with them but rather the countries themselves. I told him this was not acceptable and wanted to speak to a supervisor. After another 5 minutes on hold he refused and said I needed to speak with Data and not billing and a supervisor from billing wouldn't call me back as none of them knew the prices (!). This is so infuriatingly British.

  g0slp 12:47 29 Jun 2004

I've just set up my laptop to use this system via my mobile & connecting lead, as a lead was cheaper than a card (!). (Can't use both 3G and the phone facility together, but that's not a problem for me).

I've eventually found out the charges for when I'm abroad, & it certainly isn't cheap. I've been quoted £5.88/Mb in EU countries & £10.28/Mb elsewhere. It's charged in 10Kb increments, apparently.

As I'm only going to be using it for plain text emails & no attachments it shouldn't be too bad, but a good surfing session would make the eyes water...

Trying to get information from Vodafone was, however, a struggle.

Not as bad as when I was dealing with o2 though.

  smullan_2000 09:12 30 Jun 2004

this may sound as if i'm moving the blame away from vodafone but i'm not, however, it is not vodafone that are charging the £5 per MB, its the Italian or whatever country you are in's newwork, it is there prices and then they charge vodafone for letting you use it and charge vodafone for collecting the money for them and then charge vodafone for transfering the money to them. this is why it is so much.

also i have to say that the networks abroad are bad for changing there prices too. not for there own customers but for visiting customers.

you would call up and find it how much it was to call and text when you were going abroad, so why didnt you with the datacard.

sorry and dont mean to sound cheaky, but u only have yourself to blame

  v1asco 17:22 01 Jul 2004

Go to a vodafone sho[p and ask how much their bluetooth usb is.

When I did and was told £50 I expressed shock, as I told the guy that was a lot of money for a 10m range.

His reply was they were still under development and hopefully the range would increase next year.

He couldn't answer when I told him 100m range was available for about the same price as his 10m.

As for your problem, you have my sympathies. No matter wether you should have checked or not, vodafone should have a wealth warning on their packaging.

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