UK customers were left with thousands of pounds roaming fees after Vodafone upgrades its customer account system.
The British telecommunications company apologized to its customers. And claimed that the increase in the roaming fee was a result of a ‘technical error.’
Not only UK customers experience towering fees from data usage but also American customers. Roaming fees as high as £9,000 or $11,345 per account was recorded. In addition to fees, customers also experienced disrupt on Vodafone’s service.
Services in the United Kingdom were cut off. And Vodafone customers cannot make phone calls when abroad and have no data on the phone. What other customers did was to rely on Wi-Fi for internet connectivity and buy a local SIM card to make phone calls.
Some customers also tweeted, “Been charged £5k for c200mb data in Malta last night. I’ve been here a week and used probably 10gig without a problem. Tried calling Vodafone this afternoon, and after an hour my network has been cut off! So can’t even contact you. HELP.”
Vodafone responded to its customers, saying, “We are very sorry that yesterday, some customers could not use data or calling services when roaming abroad. This was due to a technical error, which we have now fixed. Any affected customer should restart their phone to ensure that services are resumed.”
As for the billing issues, the company said they are already working with the troubles and removing errors on customer accounts. “Customers will not be charged and do not need to worry about contacting us as we are proactively checking accounts and fixing any issues,” said Vodafone in a statement.
The response of Vodafone in the recent technical issue is a way to prevent massive charges from cases filed by customers. Back in 2016, the company was fined £4.6 million for mis-selling to customers and for inaccurate billing. The poor handling of the complaints led to customers filing cases and demanding refunds.
Reports showed that Vodafone lacked action on the complaints, even when customers were losing thousands of pounds. In the investigation, it was found out that an error happened upon migrating 28.5 million customer accounts. It also showed that the company didn’t follow guidelines on handling customer complaints and didn’t give sufficient clear guidance on the complaint.
Since the 2016 incident, Vodafone invested a total of £2 billion to improve its networks and services.