I recently wrote to Vodafone about my new Vodafone branded Sony Ericsson k700i, which Vodafone have disabled a number of features on, including preventing the use of downloaded MP3 files as ringtones, forcing you to pay to download only their MP3 ringtones, and ignoring the fact that as a musician I actually own music or sound effects that I’ve written or recorded, and should be able to use them on my phone. If I hadn’t bought the Vodafone branded version, I wouldn’t have this DRM problem.
Please pass this on to the appropriate departments. I would suggest marketing, as well as customer service.
I have been an Australian Vodafone customer since my very first mobile phone, and I spend a fair amount of money each month on calls. My phone number is […]. My name is Richard […].
I recently purchased a Vodafone branded Sony Ericsson K700i from you, and am absolutely disgusted with not only the poorer quality software on the phone and the offensive DRM lock-in you have on MP3s, but also the attitude you’ve had towards your customers who have been complaining about these problems to you directly and in forums on the web.
I am in the technology R&D industry, and I also produce a technology based radio program. I will be actively giving Vodafone as much negative publicity as possible on this issue, as well as slamming Sony Ericsson for even entering into such a slimey licensing deal. Sony of all people who have just globally renounced DRM on all their products.
I am a great customer for you, I tend to keep phones and contracts for a long time, paying lots of money each and every month for access to your network, and I’m a bit of a maven, recommending products I use to other people, especially on the radio program. I am the sort of person who can have trickle on effects for your prospect and customer base.
However, after this debacle, I will be buying a new phone very soon, and I will be moving off Vodafone forever. The appropriate public and private recommendations will then follow.
Your response to this message is not only welcome, but I look forward to seeing whether you are able to rectify this situation for me. I have supported you for many years, perhaps it is your turn to return the favour.
Their almost form letter reply, which exhibits an exceptional yet unusual understanding of customer service, has perfectly explained to me why I should never be a customer of Vodafone ever again.
Thank you for your feedback.
We regret that you have been disappointed with your recent upgrade to the K700i.
Please note there is a software update currently available which allows the K700i to use only the pre-installed MP3’s as ringtones.
Please be advised there is another patch which we hope will be released next month, this patch is planned to allow MP3 downloads via the Vodafone Live! service. Once released, the patch will be issued to approved Sony Ericsson repairers, we recommend you contact Sony Ericsson for your nearest Service Centre contact details, they may then advise you when they have access to the patch.
Sony Ericsson may be contacted by phoning 1300 650 050, or by e-mail via their website at www.sonyericsson.com.au.
We trust this has addressed your concerns.
You trust wrong.
Lesson number one would be assigning a real person to reply to me, instead of clicking the “Standard reply #43” button on your CRM system. Lesson number two would be to listen to the Internet community, or dare I mention it, the blogosphere, where a simple Google search for vodafone k700i mp3 problem comes up with 19600 results, which at AUD$600 per phone is roughly AUD$11760000 (one and three quarter million Australian dollars, or roughly US$9,277,464) in bad will. Lesson number three would be firing the person who replied to me, or their supervisor, as all they have done is show how uncaring your company is for your customers. In this day and age of global communications and the Internet, the customer is everything.
Anyone have a good recommendation on a good camera phone and an appropriate customer caring network provider?