Vodaphone returns - with an apology

VODAFONE has issued a belated response to the customer frustration over its lack of communication during the phone and internet blackout.

A Vodafone spokeswoman issued The Standard with a statement in defence of criticism the company was out of touch with its south-west customers and had little to no online presence throughout the outage caused by Telstra’s exchange fire on November 20. 

Vodafone made its first statement about the blackout on day five of the outage, following queries from The Standard in response to frustrated customer comments on social media.

Corporate affairs manager Michelle O’Brien said Vodafone took outages very seriously due to the adverse impact on customers.

“In the recent Warrnambool outage, and in the absence of being able to communicate directly, we worked hard to ensure our customers were kept informed through our customer service staff, our social media team, our Victorian stores as well as our dedicated network status page on our website, where we record and post location-specific outages, both planned and unplanned,” she said.

Ms O’Brien told The Standard any information presented to customers and to media during the blackout was provided in good faith based on the latest information.

“We are constantly reviewing our communications processes and learn from every incident. We apologise to our customers for the disruption and any perceived lack of communication.

“As a rule Vodafone works to resolve incidents as soon as possible, working around the clock to monitor and resolve any issues as they occur. 

“The vast majority of unplanned outage incidents are resolved quickly (within a few hours). 

“Where a site is owned and managed by another operator, the subsequent repairs and the flow of information on the repair works are conducted by that operator.”