Vodafone Hutchison CEO: We’re in the recovery phase

Vodafone Hutchison CEO: We’re in the recovery phase

Initiatives to salvage the brand's image have paid off with the number of customers leaving the VHA network decreasing


Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is well and truly in a recovery phase after suffering months of bad publicity over the integrity of its network, according to VHA CEO, Nigel Dews.

After a string of public embarrassments including the popularity of Vodafail and the threat of a class action over poor network and customer service, VHA embarked on a initiative to salvage the brand.

In April, the telco announced a $1 billion network upgrade using Huawei technology and increased its call centre staff by 300.

At the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), Dews said actions to combat network and customer service woes had paid off.

Churn rate - that is, the number of customers leaving the network - has dropped from upwards of 2 per cent in February to around 1.8 per cent, he said.

Postpaid customer levels remain steady.

“There is still some flow through [effects] but all our metrics are improving and we’re really well and truly in the recovery phase from a performance point of view,” Dews said.

While there had been an increase churn rate in previous months, it was negated by the addition of new customers, according to VHA.

Despite a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsmen (TIO) report that complaints against VHA rose in the first three months of the year, the telco was unperturbed and saw the results in a positive light.

TIO recorded 14,670 new complaints about Vodafone services, a 96 per cent increase, with numbers at its highest during January. Complaints declined slightly in February and then March.

“What I’m pleased with [in the report] is month-on-month we’ve seen that trend falling and, in fact, April looks like we’re back to November levels [in relation to complaints],” Dews said. “What’s important is that continues to fall and a big priority is making sure that was sorted and we’ve seen really good progress.

VHA also announced it was participating in the National Broadband Network (NBN) mainland trials at the AGM. This will be its first foray into residential fixed-line broadband services.

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Tags broadbandTelecommunicationsHuaweiNational Broadband Network (NBN)Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA)VodafailTelecommunications Industry Ombudsmen (TIO)

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