Vodafone puts customers first and abolishes roaming charges in 40 destinations

Vodafone is launching the first phase of its new campaign to give our customers more of what they want to help them live their lives, uninterrupted. Having listened to feedback from our customers, we are making the following changes:

  • Abolishing roaming charges in 40 destinations – letting our customers roam as if they were at home in more destinations than with any other UK network*;
  • Flexible upgrades – so customers can upgrade to a new phone after only six months, rather than having to wait;
  • New monthly plans which offer customers more data so they can stream to their hearts’ content;
  • New products to make life easier and safer for those running UK small businesses;
  • A new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, TOBi, to help speed up online queries; and
  • Because its sometimes better to speak to a person, we’re already hiring thousands more UK call centre staff.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO said: “Customers have told us they want us and the rest of the industry to change.  They want life to be simpler and for us to remove the things which make life stressful so they can live their lives, uninterrupted by these concerns. Our new programme will do that over the next few years and will prove our commitment to letting our customers talk, text or stream for a great price, wherever in the world they may be.”

Abolishing European roaming charges – making us the UK’s best roaming network
Customers told us they were fed up with the unwanted stress of not knowing how much they would be charged for using their phones on holiday, with many too nervous to use data at all. So we are abolishing European roaming charges now for all new and upgrading pay monthly consumer and small business customers. In 40 ‘Roam-free’ destinations, which represent 80 percent of our consumer customers’ overseas trips, these customers can now use their phones as they do at home. This removes the fear of unexpected charges on their return. These destinations extend further than just those subject to this summer’s EU roaming regulations, including holiday hotspots such as the Channel Islands, Switzerland and Turkey.

For those customers travelling further afield, they will be able to use their phone as they would at home in 60 other ‘Roam-further’ destinations for an additional £5 per day: only paying this charge on the days they use their phone.
Vodafone provides 4G roaming in 117 destinations worldwide, making us the UK’s best roaming network: unlike some operators which offer no 4G roaming at all and or limit their customers’ data usage and speeds when they are abroad.
Making things flexible
We know some customers are always on the lookout for the latest smartphone and don’t want to have to wait for their current contract to finish before they can upgrade to a newer model. So, from today we’ve introduced Flexible Upgrades for new and upgrading customers, which means they can upgrade their phone any time after they’ve had it for six months. Customers can also trade in their current phone and use the cash towards paying off the balance of the Flexible Upgrade fee, allowing them to have the latest smartphone, whenever they want.
Keeping things simple
Customers also told us they find mobile operators’ price plans confusing and difficult to understand. So we’ve created three straight-forward plans, all with great data allowances, giving customers more of what they want:
 ‘Essentials’ includes unlimited texts, up to 500 minutes and up to 500MB of data;
 ‘Red Extra’ provides up to 40GB of data on top of unlimited calls and texts;
 ‘Red Entertainment’ lets customers go all-in with up to 60GB of data, as well as a choice of sport, music or TV.
Backing the UK’s small businesses…
We want to make life easier for small business owners, the backbone of the UK economy, who rely on their mobile services to keep their businesses running. So we are launching a new range of solutions for small business customers. To keep things simple, all these solutions include Vodafone Secure Net for protection from malware, unlimited calls and texts and generous data allowances and data-capping. And, of course, these customers also benefit from our abolition of roaming charges in 40 destinations and the great value offered in the further 60 ‘Roam-Further’ destinations.
We’ve also added ‘Vodafone Rapid’ and damage insurance to three of our solutions; ‘Business Extra’; ‘Business Premier’; and ‘Business Black’. This gives customers a 4-hour UK replacement service for broken or damaged phones**. Customers who need more support can also choose ‘Prime Contact’, which gives them a dedicated, named advisor.
…and larger businesses too
We are also making ‘Vodafone Rapid’ available to larger business customers with more than 50 connections.
Chatbots are go!
If customers have a question or want to raise an issue, we know they don’t want to wait. So we’ve created TOBi – the UK mobile industry’s first artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot – who is already helping customers now. TOBi is an innovative way of offering customers a quicker web chat service.
TOBi can handle a range of queries from phone troubleshooting to order tracking. TOBi can then seamlessly hand over to a web chat advisor if needed. TOBi is already available to some customers through our online web chat service and, later this month, will also be available through the My Vodafone app.
However, we know that sometimes customers just want to speak to a person. That’s why in March we started recruiting 2,100 more UK customer services roles across the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland.
Commitment to reduce “bill shock”
We’re doing our best to make “bill shock” a thing of the past. With more data in our new plans, customers can stream video clips or share photos online with fewer worries about exceeding their allowance.
We’ll also make sure customers are alerted when they are close to nearing the limit of their allowance. When they reach it, we will make it easy for them to select one of our generous additional data options.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
Customers looking to upgrade to or purchase a new pay monthly plan can pre-order for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ today.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is available for £50 per month (£30 upfront contribution) on a Red Extra 4GB plan which includes unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 4GB of data. Alternatively, customers can opt for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ for £54 per month (£50 upfront contribution) on a Red Extra 4GB plan which also includes unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 4GB of data.

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