Check your bills asap are you a Vodafone customer?
Here’s how to get your complaint sorted as Martin Lewis warns users to check their bills
If you’ve got a problem with Vodafone then you have the right to get it fixed – we explain
BY TARA EVANS
MILLIONS of Vodafone customers are being urged to check their bills and bank statements for errors, after the company was fined millions of pounds for making mistakes.
The telecoms firm has been fined £4.6million Ofcom because of the way it dealt with customer complaints.
The regulator also said that it misled pay-as-you-go customers, charging them for top-up credit that never materialised on their accounts.
The fine has raised concerned from experts that a large number of customers may still be experiencing problems.
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, said that he had already received “thousands of complaints from Vodafone customers” and these were likely to be a “drop in the ocean compared with the amount of people likely affected, as most people don’t rigorously check their bills or tariffs.”
In June, the website issued a Vodafone customers after it uncovered a huge number of problems with billing, incorrect tariffs, customer service and other issues.
It also found that some customers has had their credit score negatively affected.
He added: “It’s pleasing to see that the regulator has caught up, however, that doesn’t change the fact that Vodafone has been mischarging substantial numbers of customers.
“This fine isn’t enough. Actually, the real cost to Vodafone will be fixing the tens of thousands more bills that are wrong and potential ensuing credit score problems. This is a crucial reminder if you’re a Vodafone customer that your bills might be wrong.”
Vodafone is blaming the problems on errors that were made during a complex IT change to its systems – this affected 28.5million customers.
Martin Lewis says the complaints could be just the “tip of the iceberg”
Today it said that it “deeply regretted” the mistakes and apologised to customers.
A Vodafone spokesman told The Sun Online: “Millions of customers went through migration process and were unaffected by problems.
“We’ve seen a drop in complaints of about 50 per cent since last November.”
How did Vodafone break the rules?
The regulator found that it had charged more than 10,000 pay-as-you-go customers for credit but not topped them up. This dates back to a period between December 2013 and April last year.
It paid back the £150,000 collectively lost over a 17 month period to the vast majority of customers.
Ofcom also found that its staff were not prepared to deal with complaints and it did not follow rules on how they should be handled. This relates to the period between January 2014 and November last year.
The £4.6million fine is the biggest ever issued to a telecoms firm. However, the whole sum goes to the Treasury.
The company also made a £100,000 donation to a number of UK charities.
How to complain and get your problem solved
If you’ve got an unresolved dispute with Vodafone – or any mobile provider – then you have a right to get it fixed.
Firstly, complain to the company. Vodafone says that the quickest way to get a complaint sorted is by calling them on 08080 044 900. The number is free from UK landlines and mobiles. You can see more about how to complain to Vodafone on its website.
If you’ve tried this – and you’ve been waiting more than eight weeks – or you’re unhappy with their response then you can take your complaint to the Ombudsman.
You will need to include information about your problem, what you’ve lost in terms of financial loss or distress and what you want them to do to put it right.
Vodafone uses Ombudsman Services: Communications. Its free service will independently review your complaint and make Vodafone sort it out, if they rule in your favour. You can find more information on www.os-communications.org.