Cable.co.uk comments on Vodafone being fined £4.6m by Ofcom
- Vodafone will be fined a total of £4,625,000 by Ofcom for serious and sustained breaches of consumer protection rules
- The figure is made up of two penalties, which are the result of investigations into Vodafone completed by Ofcom today
- Investigations uncovered mis-selling, inaccurate billing and poor complaints handling procedures
- "Fines of this size are the shape of things to come", says Dan Howdle, telecoms expert and Director of Communications at consumer telecoms advice site Cable.co.uk
Wednesday 26 October 2016: Vodafone has been fined £4.6m by Ofcom for “serious and sustained” breaches of customer protection rules. Two separate investigations by the regulator uncovered mis-selling, inaccurate billing and poor complaints handling procedures.
Vodafone said it was an “unhappy episode” for the company and admitted it had let down its customers.
Two parallel investigations were opened by Ofcom in June 2015. One found that 10,452 pay-as-you-go mobile customers lost out when Vodafone failed to credit their accounts after they paid to top up, breaching Ofcom billing rules. The other found that Vodafone had failed to comply with rules on handling customer complaints.
The full Ofcom news release is available here
Commenting on the findings Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband advice site Cable.co.uk, says:
“This is the biggest telecoms fine Ofcom has ever levied, and rightly so. It’s still the Wild West out there: Virtual network operators migrating across networks, leaving a trail of disgruntled customers in their wake; Post Office Mobile, Sainsbury’s Mobile and others shutting down altogether; falling customer service levels, and in the case of Vodafone – the UK’s most complained about mobile provider according to Ofcom’s most recent report – failure even to provide services customers have already paid for."
“While the investigation shines light on inadequate remedial systems within Vodafone, it would be foolish to assume it is alone in its inadequacies. The message is clear to all: Fines of this size are the shape of things to come, and preventative measures should be taken, or suffer the consequences.”
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Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.
An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.