One of the mobile big guns, Vodafone has its plus points - namely its inclusive Red Entertainment subscriptions and international roaming options. But prices are on the high side and customer service is on the low side.
Find out more about what separates Vodafone from other mobile networks. From pros and cons and customer service to network coverage and pricing, we shine a light on Vodafone and help you decide whether it’s the network for you.
What’s good about Vodafone?
- Wide range of mobile plans and SIM-only deals
- Red Entertainment plans: choose an entertainment pack from Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV and Sky Sports Mobile TV.
- Global roaming: use your minutes, texts and data in 152 destinations worldwide.
- Flexi-upgrade gives you the option of upgrading your phone after six months.
- Access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots on some monthly plans
What’s bad about Vodafone?
- Prices aren’t very competitive
- Poor customer service
- No unlimited data plans available
Vodafone phone contract plans
If you’re looking for a new phone and monthly mobile contract, Vodafone offers a decent range of plans and a wide selection of handsets - including impressive mid-range phones from OnePlus, flagship iPhones and premium Samsung models.
With lots of plan options to choose from, whether you just want the basics or need a huge chunk of mobile data, you’ll also find some deals include attractive entertainment bundles. Red Entertainment plans give you two years’ access to top brands such as Spotify, Amazon Prime and NOW TV.
While Vodafone do offer a good range of plans and handsets, they don’t come cheap. If you’re on a budget, there are cheaper mobile networks, but we like the Red Entertainment plans, roaming benefits and most deals include unlimited calls and unlimited texts.
Vodafone SIM-only deals
Maybe you already have your own phone and simply need a SIM deal. In which case Vodafone do have a reasonable variety of SIM deals - ranging from low to high data allowances. Most plans include unlimited calls and unlimited texts, and you can choose between a 30-day or 12-month contract.
Choose a 12-month SIM plan (which tend to work out cheaper than 30-day plans) and you can take advantage of the network’s Red Entertainment plans - which means you can choose a 12-month entertainment package from Prime Video, Spotify, NOW TV and Sky Sports Mobile.
There’s also the option of adding different passes to your plan, such as a Video Pass or Social Pass, but obviously this will increase your monthly bill.
As with its mobile handset contracts, Vodafone’s SIM plans are not the cheapest on the market. So, it all depends on how taken you are with their entertainment bundles and roaming benefits - and whether budget is your biggest concern.
As one of the mobile big hitters, you’d expect Vodafone’s network coverage to be excellent - and it is! With 99 per cent 4G, 3G and 2G population coverage in the UK, it’s second only to EE.
Before you order it’s important to check you can get a signal in your home area using Vodafone’s coverage checker - as well as areas you are likely to frequent, such as your place of work and route to work.
For network coverage Vodafone may not be the top dog (EE claims that title), but you’re still pretty much guaranteed a superb service wherever you are in the UK.
Vodafone’s mobile contracts and SIM-only deals are not the cheapest on the market. If budget is your main driver, you will find cheaper deals, but you won’t, perhaps, get the same added extras.
There’s a wide range of data allowances to choose from (most of Vodafone’s long-term mobile contracts include unlimited minutes and texts), and what you pay upfront will depend on the type of phone you go for. If you want to pay a lower monthly fee, you’ll need to pay more upfront when you take out the contract.
There are also cheaper SIM deals available from the more budget mobile operators such as giffgaff and iD Mobile, but as with Vodafone’s mobile contracts, you may not get the same benefits.
If you want the cheapest monthly mobile contract plan, you should compare other mobile networks. Network reliability and entertainment extras are good reasons to consider Vodafone, but there are more competitively-priced mobile networks.
Vodafone customer service
Unfortunately, according to Ofcom's most recent customer service report (2017), Vodafone received the highest number of complaints per 100,000 users of any mobile network.
Bad news if you’re a stickler for good customer service. You should probably look elsewhere.
Vodafone extras and benefits
- Inclusive Red Entertainment subscriptions to Now TV, Spotify, or Sky Sports Mobile
- Upgrade your phone up to 60 days before the end of your contract
- Good range of roaming options
- Access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots on some monthly plans
We like the Red Entertainment plans, where you can choose an entertainment subscription from brands such as Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV and Sky Sports; as well as the roaming options.
There are certainly cheaper mobile contracts and SIM deals available from other mobile providers, so if you are considering Vodafone, take a look at its perks and benefits to see if it’s worth your while. The Red Entertainment plans are good and there are also some decent roaming options. But Vodafone’s customer service is lacklustre to say the least, which isn’t a good look for such a big mobile network.