Vodafone customers urged to check statements after ‘ongoing’ billing issue
A long-standing Vodafone customer has said she's been left "appalled" by the mobile network after it charged her three times her usual amount – and left her deeply overdrawn.
Jackie Reid, 48, said she received an alert through her current account provider Halifax on Monday, January 13, explaining that she'd exceeded her overdraft and could be subject to bank charges.
"My 10-year-old son's bank account is linked to mine, so at first, I though it may be something he'd accidentally clicked," the NHS worker from Birmingham said.
Jackie immediately checked her bank statement, only to discover Vodafone had billed her £370, instead of her usual £130 charge – almost three times the usual amount.
"I was at work in meetings when I found out so I immediately went online to speak to Vodafone's webchat customer services," Jackie explained.
"The service I received after getting in touch was absolutely appaling. Staff seemed disengaged and could not have made it clearer that they weren't interested. They didn't even offer to reimburse me.
"They then explained that it's linked to a billing glitch that's been ongoing since January, 1 2020. I thought, why wouldn't you tell the customer if that's the case? A lot of people must be affected.
Have you been overcharged by Vodafone? Get in touch: [email protected]
Jackie said the advisor eventually acknowledged that she'd been overcharged but said they would credit her account instead.
"It's January – many people are having to wait seven weeks for payday. People need their money."
Eventually the mum-of-two managed to convince Vodafone to give her a full refund – however they said this would take around five working days.
"It's just not good enough," Jackie said.
"I've had issues with my bills in the past. Last year, Vodafone withdrew my NHS discount without telling me. My bills went up without any warning. Just think how many NHS workers there are out there that may have also been affected. It just feels so corrupt."
Eventually, Jackie said she took her query to Halifax, in the hope that they'd be able to help her get an instant refund.
"I went to the bank to ask if it could be recalled because I was worried about being hit by extra charges for exceeding my overdraft. They were really supportive."
Jackie claims the Halifax worker also told her a number of other account holders had been affected by the Vodafone issue, leading them to use chargeback to recoup the money back.
Mirror Money has approached Vodafone for a comment.
"The problem with online bills is it's easy to miss mistakes and errors made by your phone company. And depressingly, this happens more often than people think. If you're a Vodafone customer, it's worth checking your last bill now," James Walker at Resolver.co.uk said.
"If you're on a fixed-term contract then get into the habit of checking anything that increases the bill. And if your tariff is variable, then take two minutes a month to check that the amount you're being billed is correct.
"If you have a problem, make a complaint – and take it to the ombudsman for free if you don't get anywhere. The more people speak up, the harder it is for firms to make 'mistakes' in the future."
Jackie says the payment she received on January 13 would have been linked to her December usage. However, billing dates tend to vary by customer, so it's worth keeping an eye on the Vodafone app or the 'your account' section of the app to make sure you're aware of your next bill amount.
What to do if you notice a discrepancy in your bank statement
Get in touch with Vodafone if you notice an error on your billing statement. You can check you statement via the app or by logging in online. If you've already been charged, check your bank statement.
If a discrepancy is found, you are entitled to your money back, however this could take up to five working days.
If the company refuses to acknowledge the error, or you're unhappy with their outcome, you can escalate it to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme .
Ofcom has approved two ADR schemes – CISAS and Ombudsman Services: Communications .
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