Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/18/vodafone_sla/

Vodafone promises a response if you're really, really big

SLAs? Only if you're a multinational

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 18th March 2009 13:26 GMT

Vodafone has published a standard set of response times for multinational customers, guaranteeing them a minimum level of service across 15 countries with the rest of the world to follow.

Contracts with multinational companies generally have agreed levels of service, but Vodafone has made its guaranteed response times public to reassure customers and encourage greater dependence on the operator.

The company promises to send out new SIMs within two working days, and devices within three days. Incidents will be responded to within four hours, while faults will be addressed within eight.

Applying time limits to technical fixes is risky: your reporter once worked as a maintenance engineer for a large IT company and regularly saw bosses cancelling calls and re logging them. This kept the call-to-fix down below four hours, while increasing the apparent number of machines fixed - a win-win for everyone. Except the customer.

Service Level Agreements are generally written to prevent such gerrymandering, though not always, but it's interesting to see what Vodafone considers the minimum acceptable delays for its multinational customers and how that compares with the company's treatment of the proles.

It will be equally interesting to see if any rival vendors are brave enough to follow its lead and make a song and dance over service levels. ®