Loo Fun Chee
Less than a year after Optus cut ties with Qantas Frequent Flyers, Vodafone has stepped in to fill the gap as the telco works to built its customer base with a focus on travellers.
In a twin announcement this morning Vodafone said it would give subscribers the opportunity to earn up to 15,000 QFF points in a single hit when they signed a Vodafone contract.
Vodafone director of sales, Ben McIntosh, said rather than offer customers a “drip feed” of points, Vodafone will give customers their points up-front, on connection or with the roll-over of an existing contract.
Vodafone is also taking aim at outbound travellers, piloting free roaming to Australian customers travelling to New Zealand and dropping the previous $5 roaming offer for the country, making Vodafone Australia one of the first Vodafone operators in the world to adopt the flat $5 roaming fee.
New Zealand customers travelling to Australia will not receive the same benefits – a decision that could spark resentment amongst New Zealand customers.
The decision to drop roaming fees – essentially counting New Zealand as an extension of Australia – will be piloted for 12 months with Vodafone executives saying they hope to expand the offer to other countries in coming months.
As part of the deal with Qantas, Vodafone has also secured exclusive rights to sell handsets and sim cards on Qantas flights inbound to Australia.
Vodafone said the vast majority of travellers did not use their phones when travelling overseas for fear of bill shock when they returned.
“Two years ago we took the industry’s first steps to help end widespread confusion and bill shock surrounding international roaming with the introduction of a new standard: $5 Roaming,” said Vodafone chief marketing office, Loo Fun Chee.
“Many Australians travelling overseas continue to be denied the right to use their phones like they would at home, and are instead spending their holiday downtime searching for free wi-fi or, worse still, paying excessive mobile roaming rates.”