3 merger sees Vodafone on the backfoot

Vodafone chief executive Bill Morrow has admitted that his company was caught unaware by the explosion of smartphone users.

The growth of users began in 2009 when the company was focusing on its merger with 3 Mobile, resulting in Vodafone being on the back foot, Mr Morrow told The Australian.

"It was an issue at about the time that they started to do the merger between Vodafone and 3, and so there were lots of things going on within the management team and, quite frankly, we missed the ball," he said.

The chief executive said high levels of service will win over consumers as the telco looks to regain its position in the marketplace after a tough few years.

Mr Morrow said they will be bringing their customer service call centre back to Australia, opting to pay the higher wages as opposed to frustrating patrons for the use of foreign staff.

He told ZDNet that while there is a call centre in India, the majority of calls will be shifted to the company's Tasmanian facility.

Customers only want three things, he explained - fast, reliable coverage, a fair invoice at the end of each month, and someone local to talk to when they have questions.

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Posted by Eve Gillespie