Vodafone Hutchison Australia customers who sign up to a new plan will be charged only $5 per day when they travel to the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Vodafone announced the plan as it tries to win back customers who fled due to service complaints. Vodafone lost more than a half million customers in the first half of this year.
International roaming has been a major contributor to bill shock, with some customers receiving overage charges in the hundreds and thousands of dollars.
“We have to have points of differentiation” with the other telcos, Morrow said at a press conference in Sydney. “We’re recovering a brand.”
Vodafone will begin selling the plan in August, the telco’s CEO, Bill Morrow, said today. For $5 a day, customers will get as much talk time, text messaging and data as they would have within the borders of Australia. If they go over their limits on their current plans, national--not international--overage charges apply.
Morrow said Vodafone was able to leverage Vodafone’s presence in the other countries to make the arrangement work. However, in the US Vodafone is working with AT&T because of conflicting network technology with Verizon Wireless, the telco part-owned by Vodafone, Morrow said.
Vodafone did not have to renegotiate any international roaming contracts, Morrow said.
Vodafone may expand the deal to include other countries in the future, said Morrow. He said the US, UK and New Zealand were the most popular international destinations for Australians.
Also, the new plan is only available to Vodafone Australia customers, so Vodafone customers in the other countries will not have a reciprocal arrangement when they travel to Australia, Morrow said.
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