Earlier this month, Marketing magazine reported the results of a Roy Morgan survey that showed Vodafone was falling down the list of mobile service providers for customer satisfaction. The next survey is unlikely to bring better results for the embattled telco, with many consumers recently threatening to leave their contracts.

“Tens of thousands of angry Vodafone customers are free to walk out on their contracts, according to the nations top telco consumer advocate,” News.com.au reported yesterday.

“Many of Vodafones seven million mobile customers have for two months been enduring problems, including call failures and slow data speed,” continues the article.

The article went on to imply that the ACCC supported in principal Vodafone users’ right to cancel their contract, but today the ACCC came out and cleared up their position.

…contrary to some media reports, the ACCC does not advise consumers that they are entitled to walk away from their contracts as a means of addressing their concerns, ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

“Consumers experiencing difficulties with their services should first contact their service provider to try and resolve the issue,” read the ACCC release. “If that doesn’t work, they should contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.”

An ACCC blessing to leave a contract is just about as bad as it gets for a telco, but even if that doesn’t eventuate, the media attention has been horrific for Vodafone. The news.com.au article has so far been ‘recommended’ by 354 people on Facebook.

However, Vodafone still has quite a way to fall before it starts competing with Telstra for the wooden spoon. It would have to fall 12% in customer satisfaction on the next Roy Morgan survey and significantly increase its number of negative Facebook user groups. In a slightly comprehensive Marketing magazine study, Telstra was found to have 47 groups with ‘Telstra sucks’ or ‘Telstra sux’ in the title, with the global Vodafone ‘sucks’ and ‘sux’ groups amounting to a measly 11.

Update: In the latest Roy Morgan mobile provider customer satisfaction survey released today, Vodafone has fallen a further 2% to 70% customer satisfaction, falling behind Optus and still trailing Virgin Mobile and 3 Mobile.