Voda’s Mates Rate – Free!

Today sees the launch of Vodafone’s new mate’s rate tariff, or as they like to call it the Vodafone Family Tariff (which brings sickening visions of matching wooly jumpers, walks in the park, and mugs of horlicks).

From today for as little as £5 per month Vodafone customers will be able to nominate groups of 4 or 6 people and make free calls between each other at anytime providing they are all Voda customers.

For £5 customers get to add three people onto their friends & family list, for £7 you can create a group of six.

As long as all members of the group are customers of Voda, all conversations between the members are free. This will give parents a greater peace of mind, as they will be always be able to call their children, even if they have run out of credit.

Tim Yates, Director of Vodafone’s Consumer Business Unit, says: "Vodafone’s dedication to adapting to customers’ specific needs, while providing the best value, is more evident than ever with this new initiative. We all have very pressured lives, juggling family, friends and work, and this tariff will ensure we can always stay in touch."

Customers who join Vodafone Family can belong to three groups of family and friends at any one time, meaning free calls with up to fifteen people. Vodafone Family can simply be added on to any existing price plan from just GBP 5 a month, ensuring that customers won’t have to change their tariff and can start making free calls straight away.

Although Voda sensationally ditched Carphone Warehouse earlier this month, they should look to the independent retailer when it comes to advertising ‘free’ products and services.

Carphone had their wrists slapped back in July for advertising their TalkTalk broadband as free. Voda’s Family Tariff does not necessarily mean unlimited free calls, after one hour normal call rates kick in meaning that members of the groups will have to hang up after 59 minutes and call back should they have more to talk about.

BT & NTL have also had complaints upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority when it came to their ‘free’ offerings, so let’s see how long this ‘free’ Family Tariff stays free.