Vodafone Android disaster: has Netherlands learned from UK mistake?

Last week, GoMo News reported on the botched job Vodafone UK has made of rolling out the updated Android 2.2 OS to owners of the HTC Desire and HTC Legend. It seems that Vodafone Nederlands has been kept up-to-date on what has been going on, as its “360 upgrade” has been delayed.

What’s the story?

You can see the full story in our reports here and updated here, but the short version is this:

  • Last week, owners of the Android smartphones HTC Desire and HTC Legend recieved a long-awaited upgrade to their phone operating system
  • They were dismayed and angered to discover that it wasn’t the upgrade to Android 2.2 (known as “Froyo”) that they had been expecting – it was a “360 upgrade” that added Vodafone branding and applications to their phone.
  • These apps and branding cannot be deleted – a phenomenon known as “bloatware“, when a device ships with software it doesn’t need, but that cannot be erased.
  • The “360 upgrade” has attracted a host of complaints, including slower performance, SMS repetition, adult content bookmarks and reduced battery performance.
  • Many Vodafone subscribers have said they will be seeking legal action to force the operator to remove the upgrade.

What’s the news?

According to Trading Markets, Vodafone Netherlands has delayed the 360 update. It was initially planned to roll-out before the upgrade to 2.2, but the operator claims it “experienced problems”, and has put the update on hold for now. Android owners in the Nederlands will be getting the Froyo upgrade first… and then we’ll see about the 360 update.

What we think?

It’s hard to know if Vodafone has a PR disaster on its hands here or not. I’ve been paying close attention to this story, so I know how angry these customers are. But the people affected are Vodafone UK subscribers who own a Desire or Legend. How big a proportion of Vodafone’s UK audience is that? How much of an effort is Vodafone willing to make to fix its mistake? The answer will likely be heard sometime today. Facebook user “Attila Hun” posted to the group Say No To Vodafone 360 Spamware On The HTC Desire this morning:

I spoke to the CEO’s office on Saturday. They are coming with a statement on Monday. IF Guy Laurence (the CEO) is incompetent AND ignores our request to honor their promises, THEN we will unite and take severe (but lawful) media action against the company. The right thing for Vodafone is to (i) apologize for the screw up, and (ii) offer everyone with an HTC Desire a clean Froyo update.

We’ll have to wait and see. But with the update “delayed” in the Netherlands, it’s possible Vodafone is taking a holding action until it knows which way this will develop.

About Cian O' Sullivan

Ace reporter, Cian, has moved on from GoMo News. He is currently the office manager for Photocall Ireland - Ireland's premier news and PR photography agency. You can check out the site at www.photocallireland.com. If you want to contact him directly about anything, Cian's new email is cian at photocallireland dot com.
This article was published in Mobile OS, Mobile Operators, Vodafone, android, mobile news and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Vodafone Android disaster: has Netherlands learned from UK mistake?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Vodafone Android disaster: has Netherlands learned from UK mistake? -- Topsy.com

  2. Dave R says:

    When is three going to release froyo?!? I have a wildfire and I keep checking it but no updates what so ever and hardly any information on the web as well


  3. Domain Rider says:

    Latest news from Vodafone UK is that the Froyo update (Android 2.2) *will* come with 360 services and apps bundled, but VF are trying to ‘optimise them to improve the customer experience’. User opinion has it that this ‘optimisation’ must include being able to uninstall the unwanted apps, but VF will not be drawn on this, which suggests not.

    I’m guessing they’ve signed contracts agreeing to make these apps & services mandatory, but if they persist in alienating their Desire customers, they’re risking losing them altogether, in the long run.

  4. Hi There

    Great news!

    We’ve got an update on this situation and useful information here – http://bit.ly/bM9x0d

    All the best

    Web Relations Team
    Vodafone UK

  5. Pingback: HTC Desire HD and HTC Schubert Details Leak – Techtree.com | The Fresno News

  6. Pingback: Customer backlash forces Vodafone to renege on software update

  7. I just purchase microsoft zune phone and I’m really digg it, before that I had iphone 3g and the zune phone is 10 times better

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