DonnaM » Blog Archive » Vodafone iPhone FAIL

Vodafone iPhone FAIL

Yes, another slightly ranty story just like the Peugeot rant…

I had a goal for today: To buy an iPhone from vodafone. I’m in Sydney with some spare time between conferences and I wanted to walk into a store, buy an iPhone and walk out.

I’m with Vodafone already for my mobile phone and have been quite happy with them.

So they were the obvious choice.Before I went in, I wanted to have a quick check of pricing and check that stores in Sydney had stock. I think that’s a pretty reasonable information-seeking goal…

Step 1 – Home page

So I started at the home page. Apart from a lot of stuff competing for my attention, it was easy to find the little iPhone link. And it is first in the list, so I assume it is somewhat important to them:

Vodafone home page

Step 2: Check pricing

Cool, there’s a link called ‘pricing’ – just what I need:

The main iphone page on vodafone

So, remember, I clicked on ‘pricing’ (from the iPhone page). Where is the iPhone pricing?

(the URL still read ‘ so I was in the right place)

Step 3: Try again

So I go back, and this time click on the ‘buy’ navigation item.

And here’s what I get:

The vodafone iphone 'buy' page, which has NO information about buying an iphone

Step 4: Stop

I have exhausted all options. I’ve clicked on the completely obvious, clearly-labelled links. I cannot find out how much an iPhone is, nor can I buy one from vodafone.

Look, this is not a hard problem to solve by any stretch of the imagination. Information architects, web designers know that the destination of a link should match what the user expects to see. It is easy to keep an eye on this – the website is small enough that someone should have spotted it. This is just a silly failure.

But this silly failure just cost them a long term customer. I cannot buy the thing I intended to spend a lot of money on. Done. Customer loyalty only extends so far.

The competition

Just to show how easy this problem is, look at the first two screens I saw on virgin:

Virgin home page, with a fairly clear link to the iphone section

The virgin iphone page. Simple to read and pricing info smack bang in the middle of the page

So guess where I’m headed soon…

11 Responses to “Vodafone iPhone FAIL”

  1. Kris Says:

    Donna it seems those buttons on the left do not work but the other buttons do.

  2. Stephen Collins Says:

    Oh, dear. I very nearly chose Virgin over Vodafone myself when I got my iPhone. The only reason I stayed was I was a pre-launch signup and they nursed me through the purchase process.

    Vodafone have definitely shot themselves here. You should totally have a section on your site where you highlight these bad customer/user experiences for the IA/UX community to examine and discuss.

  3. Erica Van Uitregt Says:

    Just has a look at the vodaphone site and they’ve improved it a tiny-tiny bit. There is now a panel on the page that you get to by clicking on ‘Pricing’ or ‘Buy’ that says ‘The iPhone you’ve been waiting for Buy Now >’.

    So its more clicks than necessary to get to the price information, but at least now you CAN get to it.

  4. Clinton Says:

    Hmmm … I don’t think you can buy a handset from Virgin, which will kill your plan to “walk in and walk out”.

  5. dancingmango » Shoddy web experiences are still too common Says:

    [...] the high-street outlet doing this, but on the web this kind of thing is still sadly common place.  Take a look at Donna M’s recent rant.  Because it is a website (probably within the constraints of some dated CMS), a shoddy experience [...]

  6. Robert Says:

    Although the site is shitty, you may have stopped a little too early.

    I followed your links – on the page, there was a link to this page:

    It appears that the 4-ad panel in the middle may be dynamic, changing between requests; on 3 visits, I got an iPhone ad, with the above link.

    Personally, I went for the Optus plan, with the Timeless option. I’d give you a link, but the Optus site isn’t responding right now… ;) (Yeah, webstores suck)

  7. Donna Spencer Says:

    Thanks for the comments…

    @Kris – what buttons work – I can’t find any. You included a link, but I can’t figure out how to get there (via the site, not via your link). I should be able to get there via the site.

    @Steve – you bet.

    @Erica – There are some buttons beneath the big ad. But they go to the same page I showed.

    @Clinton – you can walk into a Virgin store and buy an iPhone. But my additional problem today was that I wasn’t carrying enough ID to meet their 100 points test. So no go for that reason.

    @Robert – I didn’t stop too early. I really, really can’t see what link you are suggesting. Have a look at my screenshots. They are real, and there really isn’t anything for me.

    Maybe I’m getting a different version to you all – I certainly can’t figure out where else I could possibly click to buy a phone…

  8. Ben Boyle Says:

    Oh if you can, check with friends, family, peers in the area about network quality. I stayed clear of virgin because we have their broadband@home and whilst the price is good and the sales service was good, the quality has been variable… lot of talk that Optus 3G (which virgin share) is overloaded atm. Best to check in your local area if you can!

    I bought my iphone from nextbyte, a mac shop – just for fun! :)

  9. Tracy Kyle Says:

    I too spent 20 min on the Vodafone web site looking for a price for an iPhone. I couldn’t find one so in desperation I headed off to our local shopping centre which has shops for all of the major networks. Went to Vodafone first and enquired about buying a iPhone outright and having it on a prepayed plan. The promptly told us that they do not sell iPhones outright, only on plans. We went to Optus, 2 doors away and they were happy to sell us one outright and connect as a prepaid. Vodafone now have 1 less customer.

  10. Donna Spencer Says:

    @Tracy – that’s interesting. I only heard about the Optus outright purchase after I got mine. The dude at the Optus store certainly didn’t tell me about them when I went in either…

  11. Joe Sokohl Says:

    At least you have a choice between Vodaphone & Virgin. We USer are stuck with one choice…ATT, whose coverage SUX! So at least you can exercise some choice.

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