Voda­fone charged £174 for calls

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

If the monthly data limit on my mo­bile phone is ex­ceeded Voda­fone no­ti­fies me by text.

This is not the case with call charges, as I found out when I re­ceived an in­voice show­ing I had in­curred an ad­di­tional £174 of tele­phone charges in one month.

I hadn’t re­alised I had gone over my monthly limit of 500 min­utes for calls.

When I tele­phoned Voda­fone cus­tomer ser­vices about my ex­cess tele­phone charges I was in­formed that, if I down­loaded a mo­bile app, I could re­view my min­utes. ROBERT NYMAN, LON­DON

In this in­stance that would have been a case of clos­ing the sta­ble door af­ter the horse had bolted.

You felt you had fallen into a trap. Voda­fone ex­plains that your price plan in­cludes an al­lowance of 500 voice min­utes for a set monthly fee.

Af­ter this in­clu­sive al­lowance is used up stan­dard charges ap­ply. In your case this pric­ing was rel­e­vant to 314 call min­utes. Given quite how much this over­sight cost you this is clearly some­thing to be aware of.

Voda­fone ex­plained that it does not make con­tact when its cus­tomers ex­ceed their voice min­utes. It re­it­er­ates that it is pos­si­ble to check us­age via a free app or by go­ing on­line.

For you the dis­par­ity over there be­ing alerts for data and not for calls ran­kles and seems un­fair.

As a ges­ture of good­will Voda­fone has cred­ited 50pc of these “out of bun­dle” charges, which amounts to £87 and which it has rounded up to £100. It has also is­sued a credit for a late fee of £4.13 and £3 for pre­mium texts.

It is also dis­cussing with you a move to a price plan that of­fers un­lim­ited min­utes.

You say that, un­less it makes a fan­tas­tic of­fer, you will be mov­ing to a Si­monly deal when the twoyear con­tract ex­pires in a few months’ time. Then the phone will be yours.

Voda­fone said that these days most of its cus­tomers choose a price plan with un­lim­ited voice min­utes. in­ter­net bank­ing is not used, it lapses. This resur­fac­ing adds to the mys­tery as to why years later a sec­ond let­ter ar­rived this time say­ing “Wel­come back to the Hal­i­fax On­line Ser­vice”.

De­spite the in­con­sis­tency in its re­sponse, Hal­i­fax is adamant that you do not have an ac­count with it.

The fact that you have no other record of such an ac­count, and this is not so very long ago, I feel adds weight to this as­ser­tion.

It has paid £50 as a good­will ges­ture in recog­ni­tion of the in­con­ve­nience. The first let­ter did not ar­rive and, at my prompt­ing, an­other has been sent.

You say you now be­lieve there is no big­ger sin­is­ter is­sue in­volved in all this. As you put it, it ap­pears this is sim­ply down to ba­sic in­com­pe­tence.

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