Huge Roaming Overcharges by Vodafone UK

Customers of Vodafone UK who were roaming in Europe this weekend were left shocked and angry after their mobile carrier temporarily forgot to comply with the EU’s ‘roam like home’ pricing rules. Many received warnings of sky-high charges for data usage which should have been covered by their monthly allowances, with the consequence that some had their service disconnected. But they still found a way to communicate their displeasure, by broadcasting it across Twitter.

Mickey Gallan accused Vodafone of substance abuse after being told his internet usage would cost GBP7,839 (USD9,885).

David Maddison had been roaming in Malta without problem, then suddenly was cut off after racking up usage charges of GBP4,940 (USD6,230).

Usama from London could not understand why he was expected to pay GBP2,386.62 (USD3,010).

Rachel McKechnie of Manchester was upset at being cut off after being notified of charges worth GBP3,070 (USD3,871).

Andy warned that he was thinking of switching to another telco because nobody had told his father to disregard charges totaling GBP8,064 (USD10,169).

Danny Lansley of Manchester made a joke of being told he owed GBP12,638.50 (USD15,938).

The list of complaints went on and and on and on… with many also berating Vodafone’s customer service staff for failing to respond in a timely fashion.

Vodafone UK’s press team said something bland which sounded a lot like: “we are very sorry blah blah technical glitch yada yada nobody needs to worry or call us or complain because we’ll fix all the bills we have just screwed up, we promise”. In other words, they spouted the same hollow rhetoric that every telco offers after causing untold stress to customers.

The only reason why more customers do not churn after incidents like these is the belief that every other telco is just as unreliable. As an industry we should be ashamed that customers expect so little because our standards are so low.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.