Ofcom has found Vodafone guilty of failing to deal with customer complaints properly.
The regulator’s report stated Vodafone did not have procedures in place to ‘ensure the fair and timely resolution of complaints to clearly established timeframes’.
Ofcom also said the network also did not ‘secure that a written notification was sent to customers if a complaint remained unresolved after 8 weeks'.
Vodafone could face a fine of ‘up to 10% of turnover’ for failing to comply, according to Ofcom’s Customer Codes of Practise for handling complaints and resolving disputes.
Vittorio Colao’s summer pledge
The network has come under fire over the last year for consistently generating the highest level of network customer complaints. The network attributed this to a shift in billing systems, something which Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao told Mobile will be resolved by the summer of 2016.
He said: ‘This is the most frustrating thing for customers, we had billing issues around the end of last year and we got a surge of calls to our call centre. We have managed to cut 75% of complaints so if we continue to do this, by the end of the summer it should be back to normal and in the second half of 2016 we can return to our full commercial strength.’
Time to appeal
Vodafone now has the opportunity to appeal Ofcom’s findings. A network spokesperson said: ‘We note Ofcom’s statement on this investigation, with which we have been cooperating fully. We will be reviewing the Ofcom report in detail before deciding what representations to make.’
Ofcom’s findings conclude a two year investigation into Vodafone, triggered by a high number of customer complaints to Ofcom. The regulator initially launched two network probes, one into complaints handling and one into billing practises.
The latter was closed after Ofcom found that Vodafone’s billing practises weren’t financially hurting customers, instead it shifted its focus onto the way complaints were handled.