Vodafone was fined £4.6 million for charging customers without topping up their credit

Vodafone was fined £4.6 million by Britain’s telecoms regulator Ofcom for charging customers without providing a service.

The watchdog confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that the fine follows two investigations into the group.

Its first investigation found:

  • 10,452 pay-as-you-go customers lost out when Vodafone failed to credit their accounts after they paid to ‘top-up’ their accounts.
  • The affected customers collectively lost £150,000 over a 17-month period.
  • Ofcom said that the fine is due to Vodafone failing “to act quickly enough to identify or address these problems, which stemmed from the company transferring to a new billing system.”

The second investigation found:

  • Vodafone failed to handle customer complaints properly.
  • Ofcom said “Vodafone’s customer service agents were not given sufficiently clear guidance on what constituted a complaint, while its processes were insufficient to ensure that all complaints were appropriately escalated or dealt with in a fair, timely manner.”

“Vodafone’s failings were serious and unacceptable, and these fines send a clear warning to all telecoms companies,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom Consumer Group Director.

“Phone services are a vital part of people’s lives, and we expect all customers to be treated fairly and in good faith. We will not hesitate to investigate and fine those who break the rules.”

The stock is trading flat at 226.60p as of 8 a.m. BST (3 a.m. ET).

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