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Vodafone error sees travellers cut off and billed thousands of pounds

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Thousands of Vodafone customers overseas lost service this weekend, with many told they owe four-figure sums for using their phone abroad.

Vodafone customers travelling overseas were hit with a service outage on Sunday. To add insult to injury, many received worrying texts saying they had exceeded their data use, would be billed thousands of pounds and would have their service suspended until payment was made.

EU rules mean UK mobile customers can use their phone in Europe at no extra cost to their normal tariff.

Vodafone posted a statement on Twitter which said: “We are very sorry a technical issue has impacted some customers’ data and voice services whilst roaming. You may have also received an incorrect charges message. We are working hard to fix this issue as soon as possible. Our customers’ will not be incorrectly billed.

A later Tweet added: “We are proactively checking accounts and fixing any issues. You will not be charged for any incorrect amounts. This may take some time but we’re working to fix it as quickly as we can.”

In response to the company statement, one Vodafone user described receiving “an insulting text about having to pay almost £7k off to get service back”.  Another posted a picture of their online account with £10,021 in “additional charges”.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We are very sorry that yesterday, some customers could not use data or calling services when roaming abroad. This was due to a technical error, which we have now fixed. Any affected customer should restart their phone to ensure that services are resumed.

“As a result of the issue, some customers are receiving billing messages in error; we are working through these as an urgent priority and removing any errors from customer accounts. Customers will not be charged and do not need to worry about contacting us as we are proactively checking accounts and fixing any issues”.

Are you entitled to compensation?

Vodafone customers who couldn’t use their phone and would like to claim compensation should complain to Vodafone in the first instance.

Those who have incurred extra expenses – such as phone calls or internet access – should keep evidence of any extra charges to include with their complaint.

If Vodafone hasn’t solved the issue to your satisfaction after eight weeks you can take your case to the Communications Ombudsman.