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Bestmate Fallout

Published: 6:19PM Wednesday June 02, 2010 Source: Fair Go

Reporter: Alison Mau

For six dollars a month you can call or text another Vodafone customer you've nominated as your best mate "whenever you like" - that's what all the promotion and advertising promises. But Vodafone says a small percentage of its prepay customers were using up the vast majority of the minutes/TXTs allocated, prompting it to announce it was introducing limits or caps from July 1 onwards.

The company's spokesman, Paul Brislen, says he's "personally heard of people using [bestmate] as a baby monitor or calling their loved one at bedtime so they can talk to each other while they fall asleep.This leaves the connection open until either the battery runs flat or one or the other disconnects the call."

A group protesting the change has sprung up on Facebook. Its administrator Joey Cheng told the programme it wasn't fair that Vodafone was targeting prepay customers - who are the bulk of Vodafone's mobile phone users - and not on account customers.

Vodafone's Paul Brislen comes on the show to defend his company's proposed changes.

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