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Ofcom Finds Vodafone UK Breached its Complaint Handling Rules

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Well finally OFCOM have finally find a result with the Vodafone Investigation they were dealing with.

The investigation relates to a fairly wide period between 1st January 2014 and 5th November 2015

The United Kingdom’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has today ruled that there are “reasonable grounds for believing” that mobile and broadband provider Vodafone breached consumer complaint handing rules by not having the correct procedures in place.


Under the rules all operators are legally required to be members of an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme, such CISAS or Ombudsman Services, which are designed to supplement (not replace) the providers own internal complaints system and are only used after a dispute has gone unresolved for 8 weeks (the “Deadlock Letter” stage).


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Receptaculum Ignis


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No surprises.


Vodafone is the most complained about mobile phone operator on this forum and this is confirmed by national statistics coming from the regulator.


The customer service is half-hearted. When they had a presence on this forum they were half-hearted until eventually we were obliged to throw them off.


They have a new customer service manager who simply bleated on about not having enough resources.


Vodafone are to the mobile phone industry, what Npower is to the utilities industry.


We would suggest that if you want energy then avoid Npower.


If you want a mobile phone service this properly supported then avoid Vodafone.


Clearly, if Vodafone do not have the resources to support the customer base correctly then they are overtrading and this is technically unlawful.

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To be honest, we knew this would happen eventually however, I was disappointed that OFCOM didn't follow up this part


Update note: 9 February 2016

Ofcom has now concluded the part of this investigation that was looking at Vodafone’s billing procedures and compliance with General Condition 11.1. We are continuing to investigate Vodafone’s complaints handling procedures and compliance with General Condition 14.

Following a thorough assessment of the evidence gathered from Vodafone, Ofcom has decided not to take any further enforcement action at this stage in this investigation in connection with Vodafone’s compliance with General Condition 11.1.

In reaching this decision, and notwithstanding certain billing issues having been identified, we have taken into account the following factors:


  • that Vodafone had established processes and procedures in place to actively monitor billing issues, when they occur, and to fix them in a timely manner, including taking appropriate remedial action, where necessary; and
  • that, based on our assessment of the number of customers affected, Vodafone’s processes for correcting errors through amending subsequent bills and the monetary value being taken from the customer’s account, the level of harm actually incurred by customers appears to have been relatively low.

In light of the above, and consistent with our enforcement guidelines and our administrative prioritisation framework, Ofcom has decided not to proceed to issuing a notification of contravention of General Condition 11.1. Ofcom will continue to monitor complaints against Vodafone in regard to billing issues and we will not hesitate to open a new investigation should we consider there are sufficient grounds to believe that Vodafone is failing to comply with GC11.1.

Our investigation will now focus on Vodafone’s complaints handling procedures and whether Vodafone has complied with its obligations under General Condition 14.4.


How many times have we seen here issues with billing and Vodafones lack of action.


I suggest all those that have billing issues unresolved forward them on to OFCOM to show the true scale of the problem

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