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Vodafone says problems that led to £4.6m fine have been resolved

Tuesday, May 16th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Vodafone says its billing accuracy is now at “99.9%” after teething problems with a new system contributed to a £4.6m Ofcom fine.

The company said customer service levels had also returned to those seen before the implementation of the new system in 2015.

Ofcom’s investigation into the billing problems, which saw Vodafone fail to credit the accounts of pay as you go customers who had topped up, resulted in a hefty fine in October last year.

The regulator also found that Vodafone had failed to comply with rules on handling customer complaints but the company has since invested £30m in customer service and training, including hiring 1,000 new call centre staff.

Vodafone said the mistakes made during that time had been resolved and the operator was also now delivering its “best ever” network performance.

Its financial performance has not been as strong with service revenues falling 3.3%, partly because of drops in roaming and MVNO revenues.

Globally this contributed to a €6.1bn loss in the year to March, with Vodafone’s problems in India also to blame.

But the company promised a stronger performance in the current fiscal year and its group CEO Vittorio Colao was positive about a number of achievements.

'Data growth'

“Our focus on excellence in customer experience has enabled further improvements in our overall commercial and financial performance during the year,” he said.

“Sustained investment in network quality has provided the platform to offer more generous plans to our mobile customers in Europe, stabilising contract ARPU [average revenue per user], and has allowed us to capture strong data growth in our emerging markets operations.

“We continue to be Europe’s fastest growing broadband provider, seizing the opportunities created by convergence and winning revenue market share, supported also by our Enterprise business which continues to outperform its peers.”

Vodafone said it had 9.5m UK 4G customers at the end of April and 96% 4G coverage.

It also has 216,000 broadband customers after 33,000 net additions in the last quarter.

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