20 May 2010

Vodafone withdraws controversial talk plan

5:30 pm on 20 May 2010

Vodafone has withdrawn a controversial mobile plan, just days after the Commerce Commission changed its recommendation on mobile termination rates.

The commission last week suggested that the Government regulate the cost of switching mobile phone calls between networks, and described Vodafone's new prepay talk plan as anti-competitive.

The plan, which was launched last month, allowed Vodafone customers to call one another at 6c a minute - but 15 times that if they called a rival network.

Vodafone says it has voluntarily removed the plan, though it disagrees with the commission's opinion. It says there was nothing preventing other providers from offering similarly competitive plans.

Customers who have already signed up for the plan can stay on it for a further three months.

Plan allowing unlimited calls pulled back

Vodafone is also capping its Best Mate mobile prepay plan because it says customers have been using the service to excess.

The Best Mate plan allows customers an unlimited number of phone calls or text messages to a nominated person for $6 a month.

Vodafone's head of corporate communications, Paul Brislen, says people were using their phones as baby monitors or listening to their loved ones fall asleep and leaving the call going all night.

That uses up a lot of resources, he says, and it's not what the service was designed for.

From October, anyone on the plan will be limited to 1000 minutes and 1000 text messages.