Vodafone blatant attempt to access my data – exposed in pictures!

If you have seen my previous blog (if not I have added it to the bottom of this post) about the damage done to the Vodafone brand by their attempt to access my personal data then these pictures will make sense.  They are the evidence of how a major brand is attempting to access personal data and will block future access to their core App if you fail to agree  – whilst you can then go through the effort of refusing access using your phone settings if you know how (they are of course banking on you not doing this) this is a perfect example of hiding commercial aims behind a facade of ‘improving the customer experience”.

So you click on the App it delivers the message headed “improve your customer experience”..oh really!! If you press cancel then it gives you the third screen that says you can’t use the App unless you press “OK” so why even bother giving me a cancel button!  Of course the answer is because when I hit cancel and get the message I delete the App 🙂

As you can see they are even making this access part of the terms and conditions of usage of the App an interesting issue for data protection I suspect and if nothing else it is incredibly sharp practice and clearly designed for a purpose.

Whilst they may claim you may get an improved experience and that is highly questionable, that assumes that you want Vodafone to make money out of selling for example your location to commercial partners who may want to advertise to you using your real time data using near field and similar potentially invasive technologies – do you really want a company to be able to rack your movement and monetise them for themselves.  Yes at the heart of this is making money out of data… your data and my data as they seek to diversify and develop revenue outside of their core business of providing access to calls and broadband – in the final analysis whilst their business models aspire to be multi purpose providers all telcos are just utilities like water and electricity and would you want your water company using your data.

The reality is that we will in future become more not less sensitive to companies trying to access our data and only those with the highest trust ratings are going to be given that privilege …I don’t see telco’s in that bracket today and this type of activity just underlines that view in heavy black marker pen.

The original post……

Love the strap-line “power to you” if only it was true – maybe it should read “Vodafone we abuse the power we think we have over you” not quite as catchy but at least it is true.

It seems that mobile companies cannot help themselves when it comes to killing their customer experience in pursuit of their own objectives. What do I mean, well I am sure we could all think of occasions where this has happened to us and this was my latest experience. As a customer I was encouraged to download the Vodafone app a potentially useful little tool for checking usage of my monthly allowances – that was the driver for me. I used it only occasionally but it was helpful particularly when travelling overseas.

So I switch on my phone last week to find the app image with “2” next to it indicating that Vodafone were communicating with me. The message basically said we want to a access your personal data “to improve the service” oh of course I thought – well in this age of data security no one gets access to any of my data unless I see real value in sharing it. So I declined the option thinking that was it!!! But no I then get a message saying that if I decline this then I won’t be able to use the app! WHAT!!!! Now that is firstly supreme arrogance that they believe this crappy little app is so significant to my life that I would immediately say “ok have my data” and secondly has completely ignored how I might react to this and feel about this…frankly I feel like cancelling my and my families contract….not rational I know, but when people make you angry you cease to be rational and that is a key point that businesses fail to comprehend.

Reading on I find that I can accept the request and then I can go into my phone and deny the requests through my settings – so let me see how that lands in terms of their customer effort score (bearing in kind that the lower the client effort the greater the propensity to be loyal)..and the answer is very very badly. Clearly the ‘design assumption’ is that people will agree and then forget to or not understand how to stop Vodafone from then accessing the data.

Trust is going to be an increasingly key element of our relationships with suppliers and there will be a few winners and lots of losers, Vodafone could have been one of the chosen few but with this approach have thrown away all trust they had built – with me at least, all for what? Access to some personal data that they hope to make money out of having access to ….dream on!

Leave a Reply