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back to article Vodafone cash supply choked as Europe tightens pursestrings

Vodafone Group's UK revenue dropped more than five per cent in its third quarter ended 31 December 2012, demonstrating that Northern Europe just isn't the counterweight to southern losses it used to be. The UK was particularly bad, thanks to intense competition from Telefonica (O2) and EE's 4G monopoly - which stole profitable …

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Anonymous Coward

Think the UK (customer) should support Vodafone - it's ultimately a UK company after all. Personally that's not enough of a reason - i.e. if their coverage is poor where you are - but other things being equal I would choose them.

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With 3 offering the best value contracts & SIM only deals (especially with unlimited data), I'd be hard pushed to recommend Vodafone over 3 at the present time.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't know the standard SIM only price from Vodafone is about £20 for unlimited calls (mobile and landline) plus unlimited texts with 1Gb data. Three are the same price but not unlimited calls or texts and give you 2Gb data.

Three offer all you can eat data (but only on your phone - not for sharing / dongles etc.) and it's £25 a month - for that Vodafone would give you unlimited calls, texts and 2Gb data - so depends on your usage.

Find Three good for data but less so for voice usage - so again depends where you go - if mainly urban probably less of an issue - if more rural I'd trust Vodafone more.

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Flame

ultimately they're tax dodgers with an inside line to the head of hmrc.

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Anonymous Coward

A UK company? Don't make me laugh.

You do realise how much they have offshored, outsourced etc?

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Silver badge

Given how willing they have been to dodge taxes, not that great an arguement.

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Anonymous Coward

Compared to a foreign company that pays no taxes ever? They pay no tax - partly as they bought things like C&W (with carried losses) and paid a lot for 3G licenses. Plus remember any profits are largely paid out as dividends (in fact they are one of the best dividend payers) which are again taxed.

They also own large chunks of infrastructure / companies in other companies - 45% I believe of Verizon Wireless in the US - so again bring huge chunks of profit back to the UK - much of which is paid out as dividends and taxed.

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Anonymous Coward

nope

Vodafone has a transfer pricing operation in place so that magically a small office in Luxembourg manages to wipe billions out of the UK and other Euro country balance sheets in IP licencing. On a per head employee basis the three or four people in Luxembourg account for billions in "revenue" from other parts of Vodafone.

Tax paid by shareholders and employees is not the issue in this case, Vodafone makes significant profits in the UK market but avoids corporation tax by paying licencing fees to itself in Luxembourg.

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Re: nope

I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, but it so happens Vodafone have been fingered for it. Do we know for sure the other operators don't employ similar practices? Seems to be a lot more widespread than we thought.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nope

Those profits still get paid out as dividends which are taxed - so even if they avoid some corporation tax they will pay dividends. Wonder how much corporation tax O2, Three or EE pay in the UK and then add on all the tax on dividends they pay in the UK - oh none.

So Vodafone may not pay as much tax as you think they should but that's UK tax laws for you and I bet overall they still pay more corporation tax + tax on dividends than the others.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nope

People slag off a UK company for doing what their competitors have already done and continue to do.

Remember Vodafone own a huge chunk of Verizon wireless in the US (as well as stakes in other countries) and that results in profits earned in the US coming back to the UK and being paid out as dividends and taxed in the UK. I'd be surprised if O2, EE or Three bring anywhere near as much taxes into the UK.

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Re: nope

Some corporation tax, try around £2.5 Billion!

If you earn over £60K and have kids then the £2200 tax increase you just got landed with to pay back child benefit is thanks to companies like Vodafone carrying out imaginary transactions in the ethereal world of IP licencing to avoid paying tax here.

So what if other companies do the same thing, other people commit murder, does it make murder ok?

Combine that with a supplicant HMRC ready to agree to anything and its an easy route for large companies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nope

The point is what they did was legal under the rules - so perhaps the rules are wrong. What is at issue is do Vodafone contribute more in corporation tax and tax on dividends paid (i.e. that benefitted the UK) than EE, Three or O2?

So for every £1 spent with Vodafone does it benefit the UK more than a £1 spent with O2 ??

Maybe the tax increase people got landed with is also a result of people claiming benefits they were not entitled to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nope

rules be buggered: the point is that they managed to do a sweetheart deal with dodgy dave.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nope

Better than no tax what-so-ever - i.e. how much corporation tax plus tax on dividends did O2, Three or EE pay over the last 5 years compared to the same for Vodafone?

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Decaying infrastructure

Their 3G network is collapsing under the strain, they are just about competitive in the consumer market and they really do not offer anything particularly exciting product wise. As a current Vodafone customer, these are the reasons I will probably soon be giving to why I have shifted over to O2! Their customer service has been reasonable, but the increasing unreliability of their network is starting to significantly annoy me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Decaying infrastructure

It all depends where you are. Here O2 is dire and Vodafone is great but YMMV. At home all networks are poor so adding a Vodafone Suresignal solved that problem. Also since Vodafone bought C&W it should give them access to a huge fibre network / backbone.

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Re: Decaying infrastructure

Rather ironically I bought a second O2 sim only contract a whle back and then gave it to my girlfiend. Thus I have been able to compare the amount of service she gets with mine at the same locations and times etc. She has signal and 3G in some locations, I don't so that is pretty simple.

The thing is that I live in a city and the 3G connection seems to always collapse around lunch time of the working day now. Pretty good clue that they are skimping on capacity. I fully accept other people might have different experiences in different places.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Decaying infrastructure

Trust me, C&W's network is utterly shagged - the asset has been sweated for years, no significant investment in the core, last mile sold off to ntl: years ago, and a 'no dig' policy adopted back in 2010. The former Energis bit is okay, but in some places the older C&W core is still copper STM-16s.

To make the C&W thing work, Voda will need to pump a vast amount of money into the network.

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Bronze badge

Re: Decaying infrastructure

Same here, I've worked in several locations across central london over the past five years: Southwark, Canary wharf and Bank. In each place I get a decent Vodafone 3G signal (3+ bars) but the data speed is so slow it is unusable. It magically picks up early in the morning or late in the evening, so yes skimping on capacity like mad!

I don't like the fact they try and push you into a buying their suresignal box when you complain about dodgy reception in area, essentially trying to get you to pay to locally upgrade their network for them! I get no signal (nothing at all, never mind slow data) at my girlfriend's house which is in zone 2 for crying out loud.

I also don't like the fact that when my phone got stolen, they took the opportunity to halve my data allowance to 500MB when I bought a replacement phone for the same contract price.

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I just jumped ship myself

Didn't realise it would have this big an impact.

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone used Vodafone OneNet - saw it earlier and it looked like a great idea but wanted to see if anyone had used it in real life?

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Couldn't have happened to a nicer company

I've been having an ongoing argument with Vodafone for the past three months, and I'm not even past the door. I shall be away, as soon as my PAYG credit is used up. They couldn't tempt me back if they paid me to use their network

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Couldn't have happened to a nicer company

You provide so little detail as to be meaningless. Why not donate the cash to a charity if you are that fed up with Vodafone and move.

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Devil

LOL I remember many years ago, how the "customer support staff" in Australia - at the call centre in Bendigo - which was a refurnished and failed small shopping centre, played the game of "Lets fuck the customer around, and around, and around, and around....."

The memory sits malignantly like a big piece of dog shit in my morning cup of tea.

And now they are making headlines for all the WELL EARNED reasons.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/profit-loss/customers-dump-vodafone-in-droves-sending-q3-revenue-down-16pc/story-fn91vch7-1226573205060

Accounts released overnight by Vodafone's European-based parent showed that the telco’s Australian business lost 64,000 customers in the three months to December 31, to 3.11 million.

That contributed to a 16 per cent fall in Vodafone Australia's service revenue during the same period.

Satan - "Who me? Vindictive? I did it for the LULZ."

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Vodafone's UK strategy

I switched from Three to Vodafone in June last year due to coverage problems. Although Vodafone has got much much better coverage where I live (Dorset) their business strategy seems to be all wrong. The future is definitely data and yet I spend much of my time on GPRS and EDGE which range from acceptable for data to terrible. The 3G in Yeovil, Bridport, Weymouth and Poole is slow 0.75 Mbps max during the day. Dorchester is quicker but still only 1 Mbps. Vodafone need to be investing in their network big time! Otherwise they are going to lose customers to the better 3G networks such as Three and dare I say it... EE? I have found o2's 3G network to be even worse but this is no excuse, I surely hope Vodafone smell the coffee and start rolling out 3G900 in a big way. And try to get ahead of EE's massive head start when Vodafone finally get their 4G license this year. Data is the future....

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