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).
— Mickey Gallen (@mik_jg) October 13, 2019
David Maddison had been roaming in Malta without problem, then suddenly was cut off after racking up usage charges of GBP4,940 (USD6,230).
@VodafoneUK 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 pic.twitter.com/eYserfYxmb
— David Maddison (@dmaddison3) October 13, 2019
Usama from London could not understand why he was expected to pay GBP2,386.62 (USD3,010).
— usama (@usxma) October 13, 2019
Rachel McKechnie of Manchester was upset at being cut off after being notified of charges worth GBP3,070 (USD3,871).
Vodafone charging me £3070 for a day in Dublin when roaming is free 🙄 and have now cut me off! Sort it out @VodafoneUK I need my phone back on!! 😡😡😡
— Rachel McKechnie (@RachelMckechnie) October 13, 2019
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).
Old mans bill from @VodafoneUK. Apparently there is a fault with global data roaming … probably wouldn’t have been as much of a shock to him if they sent out a message telling folk there was a fault. #vodafone my contract is up in 48 days … think it’s time for a new provider pic.twitter.com/2fTEhr1fTZ
— Andy (@wallzerbear) October 13, 2019
Danny Lansley of Manchester made a joke of being told he owed GBP12,638.50 (USD15,938).
— Danny Lansley (@danlan_12) October 13, 2019
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.