Users blame Vodafone for two new services
Rome – Vodafone users have received many reports from Punto Informatico about the alleged automatic activation of two paid services not requested by customers. A variation that users suppose aimed at recovering the lost income deriving from the abolition of recharging costs.
The messages of the readers, in such a number as to configure a sort of chain of letters, report (comma plus, comma minus, as happens in any self-respecting mail-word of mouth) the following message:
“From 6 March 2007 Vodafone has introduced two new” features “: voice SMS reception and voice reception notification, a sort of answering machine (at a cost of 0.29 euros per call) automatically activated for all those who do not use the answering machine ( 90% of users).
When you call your friend and the phone is off, you will hear a voice that will redirect you to the new service “.
From checks carried out in the editorial office, the two services appear to be effectively activated – without user intervention – from the date indicated in the email chain. And, as often happens in recent times, where there is a need for clarity on the behavior of an operator – or the suspicion of an action that goes against the interests of users – Andrea D’Ambra, first signatory of the note petition against charging costs and president of the Generazione Attiva association.
The association announced that yesterday it had sent a new complaint to the Communications Authority as well as to the Guardia di Finanza to inform the authorities about what was reported by users. “From the moment the caller hears the voice of Vodafone – explains D’Ambra regarding the two services – the caller has about 1.5 seconds to attack, otherwise this new service starts, which costs 29 cents per voice message, just 10 cents. the voice starts (after the second and a half above) “.
The service can be deactivated, but “many customers – he continues – have reported difficulties in disabling this“ unsolicited service ”. To deactivate the service you have to connect to the site and search for it (since it is not highlighted and advertised) … we tried to do it but all the options were navigable except for the deactivation, also by calling Vodafone customer service on number 190 you are invited to try again at another time due to not better certain technical problems “.
From the tests carried out in the editorial office, in response to the attempt to deactivate the services (carried out a few seconds after the user’s login with username and password), the message “We are sorry, but your work session has expired. To proceed with navigation, please enter your username and password or return to the home page of www.vodafone.it “.
“Before the recharge costs were abolished – comments Andrea D’Ambra – if a person was called and he was not reachable, he was transferred to the answering machine with a voice message informing that the call was about to be transferred to the answering machine and after a few according to the caller he was notified by a further message informing of the connection to the answering machine: only from the second voice message did you start paying for the call. Listening to the first message, the customer still had time to end the conversation if he did not want to leave messages on the answering machine without spending anything. Now, however, the first and only message you hear is “Vodafone, answering machine services ….” and those who have a tariff plan with a connection fee will lose about 15 euro cents “.
Asked by Punto Informatico, Vodafone explained that it had “activated the voice SMS service from March. Thanks to this new service, Vodafone customers can receive a free voice message from those who searched for them when they cannot be reached. Whoever makes the call, if the number called is not available, will listen to the free warning message: ‘Vodafone Voice SMS, free message. The person called is not available at the moment. To send a voice SMS, speak after the beep and then hang up. Info and costs at the toll-free number 42055 ‘, at this point you can choose whether to hang up or record a message with your own voice, after the beep “.
“The voice SMS – Vodafone explains – has a cost of 29 cents for those who send it” and does not involve additional costs for those who have activated the service on their telephone number. “The service can be deactivated by calling the free number 42070 or within the do-it-yourself area of the site www.vodafone.it” adds the operator, who concludes: “Vodafone Italia thanks all customers who have wished to communicate their evaluations on the new service and will use them, as always, to improve it “.