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Angry Vodafone customers spark Ofcom probe after phone bill overcharge snafu

Possible partial outage also comes to light

Vodafone has once again come under fire for poor customer service, this time for its handling of a computer glitch that led to customers being overcharged.

A spokeswoman admitted the company experienced problems last year when it migrated records onto a new billing system.

"Unfortunately, there were some problems during the highly complex migration process. Now that the migration exercise is essentially complete, we expect our £2bn investment in our network and services will start to deliver a step change in customer experience," she said.

The billing system was aimed at simplifying the operation of customers' accounts and opening up a range of better services, such as “click and collect”.

However, a number of customers told the Daily Mail they are still struggling to get through to the telco due to a huge backlog of complaints.

The paper reported it has passed on a dossier of complaints about Vodafone to telecoms regulator Ofcom, which has launched an official inquiry.

In the last quarter of 2015, Ofcom received 32 complaints about Vodafone contracts for every 100,000 customers: three times as many as for any other provider. The industry average is just ten per 100,000.

A Vodafone spokeswoman told the Mail many of the issues raised have already been resolved and the company is "working hard to resolve the remainder as quickly as we can."

She added: "We realise how frustrating it is for our customers when things go wrong, which is why we are working hard to improve our customers’ experience. Due to new processes we have put into place, helped by significant additional call centre resources, we believe that customers will continue to see further improvements over the coming months. We would like to apologise to any customer who has had an issue recently."

Separately, two customers got in touch with The Register this morning to complain they have been unable to receive phone calls or texts. The problem appears to be affecting customers across the country, with similar reports raised on service monitoring site Down Detector in Warwick, Northampton and Swindon.

One customer complained the issue has been going on for two days.

"There has been a complete lack of ownership in handling this issue. Their customer service is an omni-shambles," he said.

A Vodafone spokeswoman said of today's problems: “We’re aware that a very small number of our customers have been having problems receiving texts or calls over the last couple of days. Outgoing texts and calls were not affected. There was a technical issue which our engineers have been working hard to fix and which will be resolved later today. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.” ®

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