UNSW software engineering graduate Adam Brimo has unintentionally become the champion of thousands of disgruntled Vodafone customers, after creating a complaints website which became the focal point of consumer anger over poor mobile network coverage.
Adam created the Vodafail.com website last year after suffering dropouts and connection problems on his mobile, while under contract to Vodafone.
The site has since registered more than 14,000 complaints from around the country and become a forum for Vodafone customers to share information.
The 23-year old compiled a 30-page report from the information submitted to Vodafail.com, analysing issues raised by customers including accounts and billing problems, network coverage problems and customer service issues. The report was submitted to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Adam's David-against-Goliath campaign has attracted media attention, with mentions of the site featuring prominently in reports on customer dissatisfaction with Vodafone. It also led to his meeting with Vodafone CEO Nigel Dews.
A high profile was not part of Adam's plan when he set up the site.
Adam said the scale of the response to Vodafail had taken him by surprise.
"Setting up the website was easy, I did it while I was waiting on hold," he said.
"All this was completely by accident. I'd just gotten a new mobile phone and it wouldn't work and the company would not do anything about it."
Adam completed his studies in the School of Computer Science and Engineering last year and his software engineering skills have already been put to good use.
"I learned at uni how to structure a research report, how to manage a website that's getting a lot of traffic and how to make it secure," he said.
Adam has since been released from his Vodafone contract, while a law firm is now seeking to mount a consumer class action against the telecommunications company.
Media contact: Peter Trute, UNSW media, 9385 1933