Ballarat customer joins the campaign against Vodafone

VODAFONE or Vodafail? Disgruntled customers are being encouraged to contact a law firm launching a class action against the phone company over poor service and bad reception.

Ballarat resident Alex Diamond, 24, said he had joined the Piper Alderman class action over problems he had crossing to Vodafone from 3 in 2010. A mix-up with payments mistakenly ended up on his credit rating. 

“I eventually got it sorted out but only after making all these phone calls. It was a lot of effort and there would be people who wouldn’t go to that effort,” Mr Diamond said.

“It was very hard to get through to the right department. Sometimes I would be on hold for up to 45 minutes and then get cut off and have to call back.”

The commute from Ballarat to Melbourne was also a problem for Mr Diamond – Vodafone coverage was intermittent throughout the journey. Reception on a recent camping trip wasn’t as good as other services, he added, while he has also had problems using the internet.

Piper Alderman said it had received 23,000 expressions of interest so far from customers, with the firm seeking damages in the “tens of millions”. Complaints received vary between losses by small businesses to customers being unable to get through in an emergency.

“We know of a doctor who couldn’t receive calls in the hospital, a mother who couldn’t contact her child’s day care centre and people who have had their credit rating unfairly tarnished by Vodafone,” said Piper Alderman partner Sasha Ivantsoff.

When it comes to the possibility of winning damages from the class action, Alex Diamond is hopeful but not expectant of a huge payout from it.

“If something does come out of it and I get some compensation, that’s awesome but, if not, then it’s not that big of a deal,” Mr Diamond said. 

Piper Alderman originally launched the class action in 2010 and said it would be in touch with those who had already registered to ask for more details. It aims to file the claim within three months. 

A spokesperson for Vodafone said it was aware of the class action and asked any customers unhappy with its service to get in touch with the company directly.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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