Vodafone has today, finally announced the plans that were hinted at at the end of last month when they released sparse details on a new arrangement coming for customers who travel to overseas destinations, which would enable them to add a $5 a day charge to these new plans and allow them to operate in the UK, US and New Zealand.
In what appears to be an effort to clear the board of their old plans, the new post paid plans now on offer are called – Red $65, $80 and $100 – and include infinite national calls as well as local and international text and a ‘generous’ amount of data – 1.5GB, 2.5GB and 5GB – depending on which plan you choose. Vodafone is also introducing plans for SIM-Only customers which offer the same deals but with a $15 discount on the post paid price points.
Vodafone has supplied a comparison table of their new plans :
UL = unlimited
All pricing is correct as of 20th August 2013.
Calls refers to standard national calls
1Can be used for SMS to special numbers and international calls.
2Can be used for calls to standard and special numbers within Australia
3Can be used for calls to standard and special numbers within Australia and overseas
The new Vodafone Red Plans are available from tomorrow the 28th of August. For more details, head on over to the Vodafone website and see what they have to offer.
Data packs can be added to the Red deals as well, $10 a month will add an extra 1GB to your plan, $20 will give an extra 2.5GB and $30 will give you an extra 4GB of data per month. A comparison of data packs on the major carriers, does show that Vodafone is actually offering pretty decent options here for those data hungry users :
|Vodafone||$10/month = 1GB||$20/month = 2.5GB||$30/month = 4GB|
|Optus||$10/month = 500MB||$15/month = 1GB||$25/month = 2GB|
|Telstra||$5/month = 250MB||$15/month = 1GB||$30/month = 2GB||$60/month = 8GB|
Vodafone also offers the advantage of calculating your data in KB rather than in MB usage, so you get a more accurate determination of how much data you use, i.e instead of having 1MB deducted from your total allowance if you use 750KB Vodafone will literally deduct only 750KB.
It’s unclear how customers who recently signed up to new plans with Vodafone in order to access their new 4G network will factor into the new plans, it’s also unclear how these customers will find the introduction of some new Customer Service based deals for new customers who sign up to or move over to the new Red Plans.
As part of the plan customers on the new ‘Red’ plans will receive ‘VIP’ customer service from Vodadfone’s Australian call centre. The Vodafone team sees the existence of an Australian based call centre as a big bonus when it comes to winning customers over and quite frankly, it is. With regards to the VIP service being offered to new signups on the Red plans, Vodafone Chief Executive Officer, Bill Morrow said
Customer service has been a problem across the industry for too long. Our customers tell us they want to speak to someone who understands them and can offer local, expert service. We’ve had a customer service team in Australia for 14 years and we’re further expanding on that to ensure calls are answered in Australia.
Vodafone promise their new Red customers that their Telephony system will automatically detect your plan if you call from your mobile and place you in the priority queue and offer the option for a call back if the call centre is busy or you’ve called out of hours. It is a shame that existing customers, who have stuck with Vodafone through their issues are not being included in this new premium customer service.
One of the aspects of the new deals is that as previously announced, these new Red plans also allow Vodafone customers travelling to the US, UK or New Zealand the chance to add a $5 per day surcharge to their monthly bill and receive all the benefits of their plan whilst travelling in those countries. With a global reach that extends to 30 Countries and partnerships with operators in 40 more countries Vodafone hopes to extend the $5 roaming deal to more countries by year end, although they have not at this stage announced any further countries who will be added.
Optus also announced new international travel plans for their customers, which differs from the Vodafone deal. Optus, has different plans based on Zones, or an option to add a ‘Travel Pack’ for $10 per day to their existing post paid plan. Travel Packs gives their customers unlimited talk, unlimited text and 30MB p/day of data in Zone 1 countries which includes New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Europe, UK, USA, Canada and Asia. So right there, Optus has a slightly more expensive (double the per diem expense) but a wider range of countries available.
Without the ‘Travel Pack’, Optus’ Zone based plans cover a much wider base of countries, however their costs generally tend to be quite expensive in comparison to the Vodafone plans :
New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Europe, UK, USA, Canada and Asia
Latin America, Africa and The Middle East.
Telstra has international roaming available, however it’s nowhere near as clear cut as either Vodafone or Optus. Telstra offers an Itinerary Builder service which allows you to enter in your details Post or Pre-paid and then works out your cost, based on the countries you will be travelling to. Telstra also allows you to add data packs to your plan but only for certain countries and quite frankly the plans for additional data look in one word ‘horrendous’ :
|Telstra Browse Plus Pack||$29 = 20MB Data||$85 = 60MB Data||$160 = 120MB Data|
The new Vodafone plans are actually looking to be pretty competetive when compared against the competition, especially when it comes to their international deals. Over the last 18 months Vodafone has been pouring money into their 3G network to improve the already well publicised issues they have had in the past. Vodafone has also been busy building out a 4G network which when compared speed wise to other existing networks, is actually looking to be a class leader. Vodafone still has a long way to go when it comes to winning back mind share and the all important wallets of customers but with the attention to detail shown here, they’re well on their way.
Editors Note: Unlike some other sites reporting the new Vodafone Red Deals, Ausdroid did NOT go to Queenstown, New Zealand for the launch of the Red plans.
Will you be considering Vodafone’s new Red deals?