I deal with customers on a regular basis and am more than conscious of the perils of communicating frustration while angry, so... I'm going to try and be objective while i write this and make this a genuine attempt to make readers aware of the pitfalls we encountered rather than a pure whinging session.
in the interests of full disclosure, I need to start this forum by saying our family returned from 7 days in Samoa, and I stayed on for a further 6 days for a conference. I've posted a couple of reviews separately so won't comment on any aspects of Samoa, the culture or attractions other than to say for the most part it is a fine island to go for a family holiday.
However... Having being back for over four weeks, I've today been made aware of a particularly surprising aspect of Samoa that I had not even considered... Vodafone roaming charges.
In the 6 days I was in Samoa without my family, I naturally called home on a few occasions to check in, say hi etc etc - this would be fairly normal I would expect and something I'm not unfamiliar with as i travel internationally pretty regularly. The Samoa only portion of my Vodafone bill today is $800! Yup, $800. As an example I made a 27 minute phone call to my son and it cost $92 , I rang my colleague in the room next door to say "meet you for breakfast" - was a 1.02 minute call and it cost $6.46. I took a call and it cost me $6.00!
Please be very aware that it is at the extreme upper end of "obscene" in terms of cost to make a mobile call on your Vodafone mobile from Samoa to NZ. To make a call from somewhere exotic like The Isle of Capri is cheaper than calling from Samoa.
My suggestion? Leave your phone alone if at all possible, or ensure you've got a big credit card limit if you plan to check on family back home. This has left a nasty taste in my mouth which is likely to put me off ever going back.