Is Vodafone changing game plans? Won’t that hurt?

A call to the Vodafone call center today freaked me out!
The IVR said– “charge of the call would be 50 paise per 3 minutes”….. Now that is strange!
I wanted to speak to the customer care agent for activating a GPRS connection on a new handset and all I wanted to know was how I do it– and ‘Along came Thy Reply’.

I don’t mind paying that puny amount- but well expected more professionalism from the agent though- he seemed not to be in any mood of listening to what I was looking for. I have been a customer care agent myself in my initial days of professional life and I know what it means to handle clients- over the phone- and so would genuinely expect more; especially when “I’m PAYING” for it.

But that is not the point–Think about it- Vodafone- India, with so huge a customer base and literally one among those 2-3 mobile operators in India to make “some”profits in 2009-10 compared to the rest of the operators– in this kind of a market of ever dwindling ARPU, and yet trying a hand with in 3G inspite of the freaking bid value ;out charging customers for their calls of help– doesn’t that sound an “ouch” somewhere??

Or is this some stance for curtailing costs? Just as Bharti-Airtel has announced the following:

Bharti Airtel trims India capex by almost half in new fiscal to $ 1.5 bn
TT Correspondent |  New Delhi |  28 Apr 2010 Airtel which announced its quarter 4 and fiscal year 2009-2010 results today said that it is planning a capex in the range of $ 1.5 billion to $ 1.7 billion for the Indian market in the new fiscal.
“The capex will be mainly towards network expansion and upgradation. While the figures do not include capex for 3G network rollout we feel that there wont be significant capex involved in rolling out 3G network as it will mainly involve replacing 2G gear in our case,” said Akhil Gupta, Deputy Group CEO & MD Bharti Enterprises and a Director of Bharti Airtel.
Bharti Airtel had announced a capex of $ 3 billion for last fiscal.
He also said that the capex for recently acquired Zain’s Africa operations in 15 countries is likely to be in the range of existing figure of $ 800 million.

Akhil Gupta also said that there will be added capex in the company’s Bangladesh and Sri Lanka operations as well

Isn’t this another ‘ouch’?
When other newbies who are bleeding from the investments they have made in India, but are still trying to grab their piece of the market– with lower-than-imagination costs and benefits for consumers, would this stance of Vodafone hold good in long term?  Guess only time will tell.
And the concluding statement had to be.. “Your thoughts and comments please?”

PS: I have a post-paid subscription from Vodafone India

This entry was posted in Airtel, ARPU, Business, telecom, Vodafone. Bookmark the permalink.

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