Vodafone's ongoing billing problems has resulted in the network once again topping Ofcom’s latest customer complaints report.
The network had the highest number of pay-monthly mobile complaints between January and March of 2016. Vodafone received 29 complaints per every 100,000 customers, down from 32 in the previous quarter.
Ofcom’s report saw Talk Mobile fall just behind Vodafone for most customer complaints. EE reduced its complaints from the previous quarter but it was Tesco Mobile that once again held onto the title of least complained about provider. O2 also had one of the lowest customer complaints scores, coming just behind the Tesco MVNO
'We will do better'
Vodafone pledged to do more to improve the service. A network spokesperson said: 'We apologise to any customer who has had an issue with our service, we will do better. Since the beginning of the year we have made significant investments in additional call centre resources and have implemented numerous specific improvements to our systems with the objective of improving the customer experience overall.
'This has led to a reduction of more than 80% in the number of extra calls into our consumer care estate while the number of customers ringing us specifically to ask for their bill to be recalculated has fallen by 90% since November last year. We continue to work hard and invest significantly to further improve our customers’ experience and we are starting to see the early benefits of the significant efforts we are making, with this report showing a 10% quarter on quarter fall in complaints to Ofcom and our own data showing that trend continuing.
Group CEO Vittorio Colao has previously pledged to resolve all issues by the end of summer 2016, claiming the networks £2bn investment would start to pay off. Speaking to Mobile Colao said: ‘We have reduced 75% of complaints so far and by the end of summer it [the billing migration] should be done.
‘In the second half of the year we expect to return to commercial strength. We have made a lot of investments and brought in a lot of people but it is still an IT system and so it is complex.’
Complaints take a toll
Ofcom’s findings come off the back of widespread consumer criticism of Vodafone, who attributed many of its issues have centred around its migration to a new billing system. This has resulted in consumers being affected by billing, prices and charging, to the extend where an Ofcom investigation was launched into the network.
The billing problems have also taken a toll on Vodafone’s financials, with the network reporting a drop in post paid customers at its results for the year ended March 2016. New mobile contract customers dropped from 94,000 in Q3 2015 to 1,000 in Q4 of the same year.