Vodafone hit with massive fine for ripping-off pay-as-you-go customers

Credit top ups were not received

Network operator Vodafone has been hit with a whopping £4.6 million fine, having been found to mislead its pay-as-you-go customers and failing to deliver robust customer service.

Vodafone, which has 20 million customers in the UK, was found (following two investigations) to have failed to deliver credit that had been purchased by pay-as-you-go customers. 10,452 customers were affected over a 17-month period, to the collective loss of £150,000.

Customer services were also found to be lacking, with customer service reps unable to identify what constituted a customer complaint. Complaints were not handled "in a fair and timely manner."

Blame IT

In regards to the credit issues, IT problems around moving to a new billing system were cited by Vodafone. It has since "fully refunded or re-credited" 10,422 of the affected pay-as-you-go customers, with the 30 remaining so far impossible to track down.

It also pledged to invest more in its customer services and training programmes.

"Everyone who works for us is expected to do their utmost to meet our customers' needs," it said in statement shared with the BBC.

"It is clear from Ofcom's findings that we did not do that often enough or well enough on a number of occasions. We offer our profound apologies to anyone affected by these errors."