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2 May 2019

Vodafone hit with $350,000 fine

Customers overcharged $285k.

Vodafone has been fined $350,000 after pleading guilty to overcharging customers and breaching the Fair Trading Act.

Vodafone’s terms and conditions said it would stop charging customers either 30 days after they gave notice to end their contracts or on an agreed date. However, from January 2012 to December 2018, the telco issued invoices to more than 29,000 customers that contained fees beyond the agreed end date. As a result, consumers overpaid by around $285,000.

“Customers have the right to expect businesses to invoice them accurately and it is vital businesses take care to ensure their billing systems and processes are doing that,” said Antonia Horrocks, the Commerce Commission competition and consumer general manager.

“All businesses need to ensure that their billing systems are robust, and that they are making accurate representations when they invoice their customers,” she said.

In sentencing, Judge Thomas said “Vodafone breached the trust that all consumers should be entitled to place in suppliers’ representations”. 

This isn’t the first time Vodafone has been fined for breaching the Fair Trading Act. In 2016, it was fined $165,000 after pleading guilty to making false price representations.

Last year, the company earned a place as one of the worst performers in our Best and Worst Awards.

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