Vodafone Marketing Scam?

Vodafone Marketing Scam?

I’ve always been a big supporter of Vodafone and have written a number of blog posts endorsing them as a company.

But with their latest marketing campaign … wtf were they thinking??

I follow the Vodafone Facebook Page and, like many of their fans, saw them post a message and video on Facebook asking for help from the community to track down some thieves.

The video was of surprisingly high frame-rate security footage in a Vodafone store, featuring a guy taking a box of product from the store.

Click the image to view it in full size but basically Vodafone said:

UPDATE: stolen Xperia PLAY phones. We have released this security footage from the Vodafone store and are seeking more information. If you can help, please let us know.

This is shown in a screenshot taken of the Vodafone Facebook wall (click it to view a more readable version):

Vodafone on Facebook

As you can see from the comments that were placed by loyal Vodafone followers, a number of people were concerned for Vodafone as a victim and shared an expression of hatred towards the criminal.

Occasionally, a few comments arose from people that were suspicious of this message and tried to suggest that Vodafone had not been broken into at all and that the whole concept was simply a marketing ploy and promotional trick to launch their new Sony product.

At the time, I remember thinking “Man. Some people need to stop being so cynical. There’s no reason for people to think that this is just some corporate marketing bullshit. Vodafone aren’t like that”.

In fact, I almost stood up to these accusations on behalf of a company that I felt wouldn’t try to deceive their own fans in that way. I tried to stand up for the big guy for a change and instill a bit of trust in others for once.

But man am I so glad I didn’t. Imagine how much of a fool I would have looked had I done so.

Vodafone Tricks Customers to Boost Sales

It turns out that it actually was a lie. Vodafone faked a burglary and asked for the help of their community in order to promote the launch of a new product. This came to light in a story I later read on the 3News website. 3News are my new favourite news source for the way that they handled this story.

You can see for yourself that they knew a story about Vodafone and this new Sony product on news sites like 3News was exactly what Vodafone were after. Vodafone wanted to be caught out so that the story would get around and sales on their new toy would rocket. I just love that 3News completely avoided mentioning the product.

You might have noticed we haven’t mentioned the name of the … thing that wasn’t stolen – that’s deliberate. Nice try, Vodafone.

Nice work 3News and shame on you Vodafone. I’ll think twice about writing another blog post that praises Vodafone New Zealand as a company from now on.

And the community responds …

Vodafone Stolen Phone Complaints


  • Rella

     Thanks for post…I used to be with Vodafone and generally found them to be good…esp after all the XT drama Telecom had. This on the other had is mud. Screw you Voda I’m not calling anyone on Vodafone for the next 12 hours…not sure what this will achieve but it sounds good

  • Thanks Rella. Yeah I’m with Vodafone and have posted a couple of posts in the past raving about their services. I used to have some really positive chats with @vodafonenz:twitter when Paul Brislen was at the helm. 

  • I think someone must have posted a link to this blog post within Vodafone’s official forums. I just tried putting a link in there to this blog and received a message saying “You have entered a link to a website that the administrator does not allow links to”! Vodafone have blacklisted me. Funny.