Man on phoneImage: federico stevanin /

An open letter to Vodafone UK

Towards the end of 2009, I, like many others, was delighted to hear of Apple’s decision to allow networks other than O2 to carry the iPhone. Admittedly, I’d been using an iPhone 3G on the Vodafone network for nearly a year by the time the announcement came out, but an official route was always welcome news.

This initial joy was somewhat dampened when I discovered that Vodafone UK had made a ‘business decision’ not to provide / support the Visual Voicemail system on their network. (I’ve quoted the phrase used because it’s something one of your Twitter correspondents wrote when answering my queries.)

The Visual Voicemail service is a revolution in Voicemail management. I can’t begin to understand why Vodafone UK isn’t prepared to invest in the system when you so actively invest in other areas of your service. It’s not like Vodafone doesn’t have experience of the system – it’s provided in other countries on your network.

At the time of writing, your Twitter correspondents are advising people to use products available on the iTunes App Store as an alternative to Visual Voicemail. These aren’t anywhere near as good as the real deal Apple created, and any serious user will have privacy concerns given their information is being stored on a 3rd party server, to which they’ve no history or contract.

As one person I appreciate that I probably don’t count for much in terms of Vodafone’s overall consensus of their userbase; however I’m posting this letter to you in an open format (on my blog) so I can encourage others in the same boat to have a central platform to alert you to our dis-satisfaction of your decision not to support Visual Voicemail. (See comments below).

I urge you to re-consider your decision not to invest in the platform. Many users are already unsure about whether or not to choose Vodafone over Orange and O2 for their iPhone purchase because of your data limits and slightly more costly plans. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a long term advocate of your network’s speed and reliability in other areas and am a firm believer of ‘you get what you pay for’. I don’t really have any other choice but to use you as my carrier given my remote home location’s limited network coverage. I’ll still push others to join you but I honestly think you are doing yourself an dis-service by disabling what is a fundamental technology the iPhone brought us.

If you are affected by Vodafone’s decision not to support and provide Visual Voicemail in the UK then please post in the comments section below to indicate your wish for them to re-consider and give us a full iPhone package.   Spread the word and let’s let Vodafone know how unhappy we are!  (Handy links above and below for Twitter, Facebook, Digg etc)

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