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Ofcom UK – Vodafone in Trouble for Dodgy PAYG Mobile Sales and Billing

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 (10:44 am) - Score 1,776
vodafone uk broadband

The UK telecoms regulator has today confirmed that they have “reasonable grounds” to believe that Vodafone’s sales and billing tactics for Pay-As-You-Go (payg) Mobile customers may have breached their consumer protection rules between 26th May 2011 and 28th September 2015.

According to Ofcom, Vodafone appears to have “engaged in conduct contrary to the relevant conditions when selling pre-paid mobile telephony (PAYG) services to its PAYG customers and rendering bills to such customers that did not represent the true extent of the service actually provided to them“.

The relevant rules are General Condition 11 (GC 11.1) and General Condition 23 (GC 23.2(a)).

Ofcom’s Explanation

General Condition 11 (GC11) – places requirements on communication providers (CPs) in relation to metering and billing. GC11.1 requires that a CP shall not render any Bill to an End-User in respect of the provision of any Public Electronic Communications Services unless every amount stated in that Bill represents and does not exceed the true extent of any such service actually provided to the End-User in question.

General Condition 23 (GC23)
– places obligations on mobile CPs regarding the ways in which they engage in sales and marketing activity of mobile telephony services. GC23.2(a) prohibits mobile CPs from engaging in dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct when selling or marketing such services.

In keeping with this the regulator has now issued a Notification to Vodafone under Section 96A of the Communications Act 2003, which explains their findings and the likely penalties for contravention of their rules. Vodafone will now have an opportunity to respond before Ofcom makes its final judgement.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Stephen

    Vodafones PAYG top up procedure is terrible.
    I have a secondary phone which I use infrequently, I have topped up the phone, not used it for a week and then find out all my credit is gone. If you don;t convert your credit to a package quick enough it deducts £2 a day until you have no credit left. It’s a terrible way of doing things, I hope it is brought to an end asap.

    • Adrian

      It will only take £2 a day if you have a smartphone that connects to data. If you are an infrequent user just turn off your data connection on your phone and that will stop it.

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