Vodafone has been fined £4.6m this week following a 17-month investigation. The telecoms regulator Ofcom made the announcement yesterday stating customer complaints had not been dealt with adequately and customer service to pay-as-you-go customers was poor. The fine imposed is the largest ever handed out by Ofcom.
10,452 pay-as-you-go customers were left short according to the report. After customers topped up their mobile phone credit, Vodafone failed to credit them causing a collective loss of £150,000.
In yesterday’s statement, Ofcom said, “Vodafone…failed to act quickly enough to identify or address these problems, which stemmed from the company transferring to a new billing system. Only after Ofcom intervened did the company take effective steps to stop pay-as-you-go customers from paying money for nothing, and to reimburse those affected.”
The penalties imposed were split into two parts. The first fine, totalling £3,700,000, was for taking pay-as-you-go customers’ money without providing a service in return; the second, totalling £925,000, was for substandard complaint handling procedures.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom Consumer Group Director said, “Phone services are a vital part of people’s lives, and we expect all customers to be treated fairly and in good faith. We will not hesitate and fine those who break the rules.”
At Windsor Telecom, delivering outstanding customer service is central to our mission as a business. With the advent of peer review services like Trustpilot, companies are more exposed than ever if they don’t look after their customers.
We’re proud of our five star rating and our position as one of the most positively reviewed telecoms companies in the industry. We’ll continue to put our customers at the heart of our business for many years to come.