Vodafone customers still voting with their feet

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Vodafone customers still voting with their feet

Telco confirms 35 percent staff reduction.

Vodafone’s troubled Australian business lost another 64,000 customers in the three months to 31 December, according to financial results.

The results reveal Australian service revenues declined by 16 percent, which the company blamed on continued weakness in brand perception, the declining customer base and lower average revenue per user (ARPU).

“The business continues to focus on network improvements and arresting weakness in brand perception,” Vodafone said in a statement.

The further loss of customers comes on the back of 77,000 customers that chose to leave the telco in the September quarter, which saw a 14.4 percent drop in revenue.

Vodafone group reports 50 percent of the customer numbers of Vodafone Australia, which is a joint venture with Hutchison Australia.

Vodafone chief financial officer Andy Halford told analysts the Australian business had reduced staff by 35 percent in November in order to cut costs.

“Investments in improving network quality remains a priority,” he said.

Halford told analysts acquisition ARPU had improved during the most recent quarter following a change in commission terms, which encouraged sales staff to target high-value customers.

Prior to the company amending its commission structure, sales staff had reportedly been artificially inflating customer numbers in order to earn higher commissions in a practice known as “SIM stacking”.

Vodafone’s results contrast strongly with yesterday’s Telstra report for the half year which saw the market leader acquire more than 600,000 new mobile customers in six months.

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