Vodafone not playing with Google anymore

Written by on November 14, 2013 in BillingViews, News with 0 Comments

Direct Operator Billing (DOB) or carrier billing has many advantages. It ticks the three main boxes for doing, well, anything. It is cheaper, faster and better. Customers like it, operators like it, obviously, and merchants like it.

So why is Vodafone going against the grain? They have withdrawn DOB from the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. And have not explained why.

It seems strange. As we have said before, Telefonica Digital has proved that it is a success, increasing revenues from purchases by 300 percent, possibly more by now. And, together with Telenor, are now offering DOB to 400 million customers.

Some insights come not from the post on Android Police, but from the comments. Several customers say that they never knew DOB was an option in the first place. Someone responded, saying that Google only offers DOB if it does not already have your credit or debit card in its system. The commission on payment cards is better than the commission on DOB. If this is true, then the Regulator or a Consumer Watchdog would presumably have something to say on the matter.

Another suggestion was that customers are actually stupid enough to believe that DOB is somehow free.  And have nervous breakdowns when they get their bill at the end of the month. Then they take it out on the call centres, thus costing operators money.

Another comment goes as far as suggesting it has something to do with AT&T wanting to buy Vodafone – or another European telco if that doesn’t work.

If you watch the comments long enough, it probably won’t be long before the blame lies squarely at the door of little green men.

But it is certainly curious, particularly as Google themselves are trying to bring DOB to more and more of its markets. We will keep our ears open.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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