Vodafone Australia is facing a class-action lawsuit from at least 9,000 disgruntled customers over its run of network performance issues.
Law firm Piper Alderman states it will file a lawsuit against the carrier in the next five to ten working days, after processing information gathered from the prospective plaintiffs who began registering interest in pursuing legal action last month.
The suit will focus on dropped calls, reception issues and poor data speeds, with eligible complainants being customers who have signed up to a Vodafone contract in the last three years.
Piper Alderman said it would also look into expanding the suit to cover customers of 3 Australia - Vodafone's partner in the network-sharing joint venture Vodafone Hutchison Australia - because of the number of inquiries it had received from 3 customers.
Any lawsuit would likely take 12 to 24 months to make its way through the courts, the firm has advised.
Vodafone Australia on Tuesday revealed that building greater reliability and capacity into the network is its “highest priority.”
The company said it would install 2,500 base stations in 2011, and upgrade or install a total of 141 cell sites for its 850MHz and 2.1GHz networks. It has also set up multiple task force teams to monitor, test and troubleshoot the network.
Vodafone Australia customers have been complaining for months about network performance issues. Last month, the operator claimed it had traced the problems to a series of software errors, which it had since fixed.
But in Tuesday's announcement, Vodafone acknowledged that “there are some customers who may not be experiencing [the] benefits” of its network upgrades yet.
A website set up by one disgruntled customer to collate complaints by other subscribers has attracted over 10,000 submissions so far.