Vodafone NZ loses mobile customers for 9th straight quarter

Vodafone New Zealand, which bought phone company TelstraClear for $840 million last year, lost a net 7000 mobile customers in the first three months of the year, its ninth straight quarterly decline.

Auckland-based Vodafone had 2.307 million mobile customers as at March 31 from 2.314 million three months earlier, according to its London Stock Exchange-listed parent company's annual result.

That is the fewest New Zealand customers Vodafone has had on its books since the third quarter of 2007-08, though it does not include customers acquired from the TelstraClear purchase, who already run on the Vodafone network under a repackaged service.

Vodafone's percentage of pre-paid customers edged up to 66.7 percent from 66.6 percent at the end of the December quarter.

The parent Vodafone group said its Australian and New Zealand businesses were the only regions not to report revenue growth in the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific segment, which accounts for about 30 percent of the company's service revenue.

The carrier has had to contend with increasing competition since Two Degrees Mobile entered the market in 2009, grabbing a 21 percent share in three years and eating into Vodafone and Telecom's dominance.

Vodafone New Zealand boosted annual profit 16 percent to $175 million in the 12 months ended March 31 from $151.5 million a year ago, even as revenue fell 4.3 percent to $1.62 billion, according to the last financial statements filed to the Companies Office.

That was better than what Vodafone foreshadowed a year earlier, when it said sales would fall $124 million and comprehensive income by $55 million due to the Commerce Commission imposing a reduction in mobile termination rates, the fees carriers charge each other for ending a call on a rival network.

(BusinessDesk)

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14 Comments & Questions

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Vodafone might want to think hard about a retention strategy. I left them for Telecom after 12 years of loyal patronage and tens of thousands of dollars in subscription payments. Not even a question as to why I was leaving or any incentive to stay. My new provider is streets ahead on all fronts.

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I had the same experience. They sent automated messages asking about the call you received from them and how you rated the experience. I gave them a 0, they then ask what they should do, my response train your staff.
Yet no one from Vodafone called me to discuss the experience. They will continue to lose more customers.

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What did you ask the staff member?

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I was off contract and they phoned to ask me to go onto a contract. I said I'm thinking of changing networks. The young guy's response was ok, he didn'y ask me why or what Vodafone needs to offer to retain my business.

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I had the same experience just recently - Cancelled after at least 8 years of being with them and then I was charged $1,350 termination fee - no one called to ask why I was leaving or informed me that I would be charged termination fees - in fact absolutely nothing until they took the money out of my bank!!!! Just reiterated to me why Telecom was the better choice.

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Too arrogant at the top to need a retention strategy.

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Same comment I had for leaving Telecom. Price is the main reason people are moving from Vodafone.

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Easy to do the Craig David (Walk Away) from Voda...they don't give any reason to stay, even if you have been there for years.

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Wonder if they do as much Tax evasion over here as they do in the UK which they have just been pulled up about...

I just left them after 11 years of contract, don't like they way they operate

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I left Vodafone about 12 months ago - basically was paying around $110 per month on a plan - always seemed expensive. Moved to 2Degrees and am essentially getting all I got from Vodafone (plus 100 minutes call time to China per month) for LESS than half of what Vodafone charged. What a rip!

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Interesting to see Vodafone that contested the Commerce Commission's reduction in mobile termination rates was such a bad thing for technological advancement of NZ, etc, claiming would cut their profits $55m instead following the introduction 'increased ' their profits by $25m. Another global multinational perhaps lying to and rorting the NZ public?

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No reason to stay. Heen off contract for a year and no attempt to offer me a new phone, etc, so I am off to Telecom. PS: try working out the Vodafone call plans on their website. Confusion, plus marketing goobledygook. At least Telecom's makes some sense.

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I left two months ago to Telecom. Not because of price but because of coverage. I got so sick of calls dropping off (in Akl or Wellington CBDs) voicemails arriving two days later, text messages arriving 24 hours later, and very patchy data coverage. Telecom is miles ahead on coverage quality. Guess the XT crisis caused Telecom to over engineer their network but it is miles ahead - faster data (small Akl 4g patch aside) everywhere and calls don't drop off, voicemail arrives immediately and so on. Sorry Voda you've got a quality issue to resolve here.

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Vodafail indeed.

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