Why Vodafone are shysters when it comes to their customers
We got to hand it to you, Vodafone. You are outrageous.
We don't mean that in a manner that might be considered complimentary or fun, for example when used by housewives to describe another housewife on stage with her mouth down the thong of a male stripper.
No, we mean you're outrageous in the sense that you treat your customers unfairly and with the vacuous morals of a particularly disreputable cockroach.
The story is well documented; Vodafone decided to introduce a capped data limit to existing mobile contracts with a Fair Usage Policy, which allowed customers to occasionally exceed the 500MB limit without necessarily being charged. The new capped limit means customers will be automatically charged £5 every time they exceed 500MB from 1 October, and £5 per additional 500MB after that. Although Vodafone vehemently denied this was a change to their Terms and Conditions, they offered customers a route to cancellation-without-fee anyway - something they're only required to offer if there's a change to Terms and Conditions. Er.
We offered plenty of help, advice and letter templates, and we're pleased to say many eligible customers have cancelled their contracts without paying out the reminder of it. But Vodafone are also refusing eligible requests, too. Bitterwallet reader Matt attempted to cancel his contract after reviewing his data usage:
• September - 570MB (unbilled usage so far this month)
• August - 366MB
• July - 655MB
• June - 642MB
• May - 611MB
Matt explains the drop in August's usage was due to issues with his handset's battery, but it doesn't matter - it's clear that Matt is the type of customer that will have to pay more than he agreed when he contracted with Vodafone. Matt contacted Vodafone using our cancellation template, and Vodafone duly sent his PAC code via text - and then a letter explaining he would have to pay out the remainder of the contract.
But what's really gutless about Vodafone's handling in this and, we presume other instances, is that Vodafone doesn't explain their reason behind their decision - or provide any contact details that might allow Matt to dispute the decision. No email address, no telephone number, nothing. You can see the letter for yourself here.
So in the month immediately before Vodafone introduces the data cap, Matt will exceed 500MB. In four of the past five months, Matt has exceeded 500MB. Yet he'll now have to pay £5 per month on top of his £25 tariff - an increase of 20 per cent - without Vodafone explaining why.