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Use Vodafone? You no longer get free wi-fi on the London Underground

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Without telling its customers, Vodafone has removed the benefit of free wi-fi on the London Underground.

This is, for me, a big loss and something I used on an almost daily basis. Whilst it didn’t work in tunnels, it did work on station platforms. There was usually enough time at each stop for your phone to reconnect and to download a web page to read in the tunnel until the next station ….

Vodafone stops free wi-fi on the London Underground

This does not impact connectivitiy on the Eastern end of the Jubilee Line. There is now FULL 4G access, in tunnels and platforms, on that part of the Jubilee Line extension. I have used this and it is fantastic, although nothing that other cities haven’t had for some time.

Vodafone said:

“We’ve made the decision to end our offer of free access to London Underground WiFi. We’ve been giving free access to this product for nearly ten years, but the small number of customers making regular use of it – even before the pandemic – unfortunately means we can’t continue the offer.

“Free access to WiFi on the London Underground has always been a discretionary service and therefore never part of any of our customer price plans.”

Transport for London has just agreed a deal to bring full 4G to the rest of the network but it won’t be running until 2024.

You can find out more in this Metro article.

Comments (80)

  • riku says:

    I moved to Finland in 1999 and even then they had full mobile coverage in the Helsinki metro, I think Finns don’t even realise that something special has to be done to make mobile networks work in underground railways since it just works seamlessly here.

    • Max says:

      Finland is home of Nokia – next to Ericsson from Sweden and Huawei from China one of the biggest network equipment developers in the world.

      • bafan says:

        And? Could we not contract with them before 2024?

        • Mat says:

          Cool, but you’re forgetting that LU only has 245 more stations than Helsinki metro (270 vs 25). And most of it has been built 100+ years ago and can barely fit the current rolling stock.

  • RussellH says:

    On 28 June at 09:57Andrew said:

    > I want a reliable signal at my house, my office, my parent’s house
    > in rural Perthshire, and the areas where I tend to be out and about.
    > EE ticks all the boxes for signal.

    I was with Orange / EE for years, but finally had to dump them because the signal was always appalling, including rural Perthshire (2 miles from Dunblane), and, arguably, even worse in rural Cumbria and nearly as bad in rural Oxfordshire.
    Even in W4 and TW7, even if there appeared to be plenty of signal, call quality varied from poor to unusable.
    Here in Cumbria EE is even useless for SMS, which are essential these days.
    Switched to O2, who at least allow me to receive SMS. Voice calls still only possible outdoors.

  • NFH says:

    I disagree with Vodafone that “Free access to WiFi on the London Underground has always been a discretionary service and therefore never part of any of our customer price plans“. This is not what Vodafone’s T&Cs for the service stated: https://web.archive.org/web/20190914015643/http://www.vodafone.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/consumer/network-and-coverage/vodafone-wifi-london-underground/index.htm

    These T&Cs form binding contractual terms, including for any price plans, pursuant to Section 50 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Therefore Vodafone is in breach of contract by removing the service.

    • The Original David says:

      Yes but since when did legal truth influence corporate press releases? See also: BA on BoB, data breach, IT failure, etc. If you tell consumers something, 90% of them will accept it without arguing…

    • Legal Boffin says:

      You’ve slightly misunderstood the T&Cs there. The link you have shared are the T&Cs for that you sign up to by making us of the Vodafone London Underground WiFi service – they are separate to your standard mobile T&Cs and do not form part of one another.

      If you check the mobile T&Cs here [https://www.vodafone.co.uk/cs/groups/public/documents/document/vfcon109703.pdf] (attached version before WiFi service was removed just to be sure), there was never any mention of the WiFi service in the agreement, hence why this was classed as a discretionary service and never a part of customers’ agreements.

      • NFH says:

        No, I haven’t misunderstood. Paragraph 2 of the wifi T&Cs states “You may use the Service if you’re a Vodafone Pay monthly or business customer with data as part of your plan or a Vodafone Pay as you go customer with a Big Value plan“. Section 50 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that “Every contract to supply a service [e.g. the price plan T&Cs] is to be treated as including as a term of the contract anything that is said or written to the consumer, by or on behalf of the trader, about the trader or the service [e.g. the wifi T&Cs]“. Therefore Section 50 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 causes the wifi T&Cs to form part of the price plan T&Cs.

  • JAXBA says:

    Hertz Gold Plus Rewards > Accor ALL > Iberia Plus > British Airways works pretty well for me, with me only having to do the last step manually in Combine My Avios. Do I lose value along the way? Probably, but they’d be orphaned otherwise.

  • PH says:

    I just switched to O2 after 15+ yrs with Vodafone because tube wifi is non-negotiable for me.

  • Alex Sm says:

    This discussion is great but how does relate to HfP topics of aviation travel, credit cards and hotels?

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