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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.”

Notes to editors

In return for using our commentary on UK telecoms issues, we would deeply appreciate a link to this page or to https://www.cable.co.uk

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What is Cable.co.uk?

Cable.co.uk is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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