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Yes, it’s true! Four more months

I am, quite frankly, shocked. Vodafone is either very insecure, very paranoid, or doing very poorly in the duopoly situation.

Now don’t get me wrong: personally, I don’t have a problem with it. Admittedly, it was slightly embarassing when my cellphone went off during physics today to inform me of the text Vodafone had sent me (yes, I had forgotten to turn it off), but all in all, free text messaging for another four months sits perfectly fine with me.

But I really, honestly did not believe that this was going to happen. Vodafone’s already extended their promotion by six months once. Do they really need to do it again?

Wanting an answer, I called 236, which told me, “Yes, it’s true! […] You’ve been asking for it to be extended, so we have.” Needing to convince myself further, I checked their website. Wow. It’s almost too good to be true! What an incredibly nice company.

Their website’s page on hoax TXTs lists a hoax, which, incidentally, I happened to receive: “Free txt wknd is endn ths month! We need 10000 copies of ths txt 2 b snt ova our network to xtnd ths offer. Please snd this on 2 all 021 numbers”

Hoax? Well, yeah, I knew it was a hoax when I saw it. There was that other hoax too, the one that said, “… Send this message all around NZ so Vodafone see’s [sic] how much we love free text. VODAFONE, PLEASE EXTEND FREE TXTING!!” Okay, granted, that one doesn’t qualify as a “hoax” because it’s not “too good to be true”, but that’s not the point. They extended the offer because, in their words, we asked for it. We asked for what would be too good to be true, and they gave it to us.

I emphasise again that I don’t have a problem with this, but I don’t see the point. Vodafone can’t go on continuing this forever. Ultimately, there must come a point whether they have to write the full stop. Such promotions exist for business purposes—let’s be fair, companies exist to make profit—and they would only occur if, as with anything, the consequences of not doing it are worse than the consequences of doing it.

Now if, as they say, we asked for it, then this is their attempt to keep a loyal customer base. I have to admit, it’s not a bad way to do it, I mean, to some extent, it’s clearly working. But two extensions displays a lack of confidence, a lack of security with their customer base. If it is this that they are worried about, then surely they must find a better way to attract the loyalty of their customers.

Otherwise, it would be a drive to attract new customers. To pull them over from Telecom perhaps, to gain publicity, or maybe to lure people into the impression—I won’t say false impression—that it will never end. In other words, a promotion and its extension have not done well enough. They are still fighting to retain control of the mobile market.

I suppose, though, that to be fair, competition within the duopoly is somewhat fierce. With plans like the Motormouth plans, which provide a cheaper rate for calls to Vodafone mobiles, and the like, it seems they would—quite justifiably—do anything within their power to maintain control of a sizable portion of that market. Ultimately, though, to truly get the mass customer shift, cheaper plans and rates are probably the best bet.

Related Link

  • Vodafone NZ: Free TXT weekends – Extended

    No, I do not take economics. No, I never have. Yes, I am aware that most of what I said made no sense.

    If you are an employee of Vodafone, then yes, you are quite correct, we do love free text messaging and would strongly encourage Vodafone to maintain and extend the promotion for as long as viable.

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