In a feel-good move, telecommunications company Vodafone will credit all of its customers calls and texts made to Nepal numbers from when the devastating quake struck on Saturday until 5pm today.
Credit will be given to mobile, residential and business calls made to landlines and mobile phones in Nepal.
The credit is retrospective, so any calls or texts made from 5pm NZ time on Saturday to 5pm today will be applied to customers’ accounts.
Vodafone says texting is the best option to communicate with loved ones, unless there’s an emergency, as local networks are heavily congested.
Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams says the company is thinking of Nepal at this difficult time, as well the Kiwis who have ties there.
“Crediting calls and TXTs is something simple we can do to help Kiwis during this time,” Williams says.
The company previously credited calls and texts made to Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam in March.
Its move to credit calls and texts in times of disaster creates warm fuzzies in less cynical consumers’ hearts.
The stunt will most likely create a positive public perception of Vodafone overall.
2degrees will also be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight tomorrow, and Spark will do the same for calls made between 5pm Saturday 25 April and midnight tomorrow.
In contrast, another retailer found that reacting to a disaster in an insensitive way backfires miserably.
Indian eyewear retailer Lenskart sent out an offensive text message post-earthquake to its subscribers.
The text seemed to be making a joke out of Nepal’s suffering, starting off a sales pitch with “Shake it off like this Earthquake”.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) April 25, 2015
It soon realised the text had not gone down well with customers, so it sent a follow up text.
But it was too late to curb the outrage, as the hashtag #ShameOnLenskart had already began trending on Twitter.
— Lenskart (@Lenskart_com) April 25, 2015