Mobile phone operator Vodafone has been reprimanded by the communications watchdog ComReg for failing to tell customers they would lose out on offers by topping up early.
The company has been ordered to refund €416,971.79 to 72,774 customers.
ComReg said Vodafone had failed to comply with customer information requirements over an 18-month period from September 2016 to March 2018.
The issue related to the operator’s ‘Extra’ pay-as-you-go offers. ComReg determined that customers who topped up by €20 or €30 within 28 days of their last top-up were unaware that doing so would start a new offer cycle. This meant they lost out on any outstanding allowances as these were not carried forward after topping up.
The investigation related to the manner in which customers were advised about the offer resetting.
Vodafone accepted the findings and agreed to refund the customers and clarify its information practices.
A spokesperson said: “Vodafone worked closely with ComReg on this matter. It specifically related to whether it was clear to customers that if they chose to top up before the 28-day cycle ended, their allowances would be reset and start a new offer cycle. Following discussions with ComReg, Vodafone revised certain offer communications and have agreed to apply credits to those customers impacted.”
It is not the first time Vodafone has been ordered to refund pay-as-you-go customers. In 2017, ComReg ordered the company to issue more than €2.5m in refunds to pay-as-you-go customers who were automatically signed up to a roaming offer which saw their accounts charged €3 per day to use their existing packages within the EU.