Vodafone Data Traveller Woes

Vodafone Data TravellerI’ve used the Vodafone Data Traveller quite a lot over the last year. For either £2 a day or £10 a month, pay monthly customers get 25MB of data per day in most European countries.  A few days before leaving for Portugal, I contacted Vodafone to request that I go on the £10 a month plan. I phoned 40062 from my mobile, the number given on the Vodafone site to opt into the £10 a month Data Traveller. A recorded message said “Great news, Vodafone Data Traveller is now included in your price plan”.

Therefore, after going online in Portugal, I was very surprised when I received a text message saying I was being charged at the £2 per day rate.  Why was I informed that this service was now included in my price plan if I was going to have to pay £2 a day for each the seven days I’d be in Portugal? I decided I would use Data Traveller for a maximum of five days, so I wouldn’t spend more than £10.

I have another gripe with Vodafone Data Traveller. They claim that they will send you a message once you have used 80% of your 25mb daily data allowance. If you go over the limit, you are charged £1 per MB for the first five MB and a whopping £5 per subsequent MB.

I wish they would send that message earlier and give you an option to be cut you off when you reach the 25MB limit. Once you were cut off you,  you could then re-activate data, knowing that you’ll be paying the much higher price, instead of going over the limit inadvertently. I ended up paying another £5 for using 5MB over my limit when in Portugal. Fortunately, I managed to avoid any £5 per MB charges.

I contacted Vodafone to complain about their misleading message, saying that Data Traveller is now included in your price plan, and to offer my suggestions to avoid customers going over the 25MB and incurring Vodafone’s excessive charges for this. Within 24 hours Vodafone contacted me by phone and agreed to refund the £15 I spent on Data Traveller when in Portugal as gesture of goodwill and said they will look into the misleading message.

Their response to my suggestions regarding going over the 25MB limit was that I could monitor my data usage on a data counter on my phone or through an app. Yes, as a customer I need to take responsiblity for the data I use. However, I can’t see a data counter on my Samsung Wave and I’m not keen to have apps using up battery power, so I’d prefer the option of a cut off when I reach the 25MB daily limit.

Update June 2012 -  Vodafone Euro Traveller has now superceded Data Traveller for pay monthly customers. It’s a terrible deal for me as I’d have to pay £3 a day to use my UK package in most of Europe. I only use data when abroad so don’t want to pay to make calls and send texts when abroad, as I very rarely do that.