Since the introduction of ‘Roam-further’ charges, some Vodafone customers have found they are paying more when visiting certain countries.
This has led to intervention from Ofcom, allowing these customers to leave their contract penalty free, should they wish to do so.
When Vodafone introduced a new roaming charge earlier this year, it meant pay-monthly customers will now be charged a flat fee of £5 a day, should they activate roaming services in the 60 countries outside the EU, for which this roaming charge applies.
Customers can no longer send texts, make calls or use data on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis, which means ‘light users’ are more likely to be affected if they are visiting one of these countries.
Vodafone customers were informed of the changes via text message between April and May 2017, with those considered to be particularly affected being directed to T & C’s on the Vodafone website.
Many customers complained about the clarity of these text messages, however, which raised concerns with Ofcom as to whether all affected customers had been properly alerted.
In response, Vodafone sent another text message to those it originally contacted, as well as to additional customers that may have been affected by the changes, clearly informing them of their rights and offering a 30-day penalty-free contract termination period.
Vodafone also committed to refund customers who had complained of being out of pocket because of the Roam-further charge and in addition, to update its guidance and procedures policies to ensure easier access to and communication with customers more likely to be affected by changes.
Customers who are concerned they have also been affected by the Roam-further charge should contact Vodafone.
Ofcom requires providers to give customers 30 days’ notice of any contract changes that are likely to be of ‘material detriment’ and allow them to exit their contract without penalty.
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