9/3/2008 11:50:00 AM
Vodafone stays firm on recent price increases for customer contracts
Vodafone is rejecting requests from customers who want to leave the network in light of its recent price increases.
It was alleged by The Independent newspaper earlier this week that Vodafone was resisting what the newspaper considered to be ‘lawful claims’ from Vodafone customers to cancel their mobile phone contracts under the operator’s own terms and conditions.
Vodafone’s terms state that contract customers who face over a 10% rise in their bills are allowed to discontinue their contract with the operator, regardless of when they first signed up.
However, Vodafone said that the allegations were ‘misrepresentative’. A spokeswoman said that ‘99% of Vodafone customers will see a less than 10% change to their bill’, so wouldn’t be within their rights to demand cancelling their contracts.
Some customers are understood to have been concerned about the price hikes and contacted Vodafone’s customer services. Although the number of customers who raised the issue is understood to be low, the precedent of letting customers rip up their agreements mid-term is believed to have caused concern at the network.
The spokeswoman said those who don’t go outrageously outside of their bundle would not suffer from a 10% bill increase and were therefore not permitted to exit their contract without a charge.
The operator announced earlier this month that its minimum call charges would increase by 25%, and calls to 0871 and 0870 numbers were rising by between 30% and 40%. It has caused particular concern as an increasing number of services use 0870/0871 numbers instead of standard landline prefixes, but are not included in customers’ inclusive bundles.
• 3 is also expecting a similar problem of customers requesting to terminate their contract mid-term after its upcoming new charges. 3 will start charging customers for paper bills, not using direct debit, and has ditched per-second billing.
Vodafone price changes
Vodafone has made changes to ‘non-geographic call charges and the minimum call charge’, which are effective from 1 September
Calls to 05, 080, 084, 0870 - 15p to 20p per minute
Calls to 0871 - 25p to 35p per minute
Minimum call charge (when exceeding bundle minutes) - 5p to 15p per minute