Vodafone Ireland fined €250,000 for wrongly charging 250,000 mobile customers
Vodafone has been fined €250,000 by the telecoms regulator, Comreg, for incorrectly charging 250,000 Irish pay-as-you-go customers when they travelled abroad.
The company has also forked out €2.5m to the customers who were incorrectly charged.
The issue relates to Vodafone’s “Red Roaming” service, introduced in March 2016.
According to Comreg, the telecoms firm changed its terms and conditions so that pay-as-you-go customers were automatically opted into Vodafone’s ‘Red Roaming’ tariff structure.
“Comreg found that the manner in which Vodafone notified its pay-as-you-go customers of this contract change was not compliant with relevant provisions,” said the watchdog, in a statement.
The issue is unrelated to the recently-introduced EU-wide ‘roam like home’ law.
Vodafone has promised ComReg that it will not use ‘automatic opt-ins’ to contract changes in future.
A spokesperson from Vodafone Ireland said: “In March 2016, with the objective of offering customers a simple, straightforward roaming package and based on analysis of customer usage and customer feedback, Vodafone made Red Roaming available to pay as you go customers.
“It became apparent from customer queries, the company’s own analysis and input from Comreg that not all Vodafone customers were benefitting from the value in the proposition and credits were applied to address this. The average amount was approximately €10 in credit.”
“All Vodafone pay as you go customers who roamed on Red Roaming and did not receive the full benefit of the offer, received a credit for the appropriate amount from Vodafone Ireland in June and July 2017.”