Today (26 October 2016) Ofcom has fined Vodafone £4.6m for breaches of customer protection rules – it’s largest fine for a telecoms operator to-date.
Ombudsman Services: Communications provided evidence to the Ofcom investigation and has been working closely with Vodafone to address customer service failings. Commenting on the announcement, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith says:
"We've been working closely with Vodafone to help them improve their customer service processes. Some good progress has been made in key areas, but there is still a lot of work to do.
"First and foremost an ombudsman is there to help individuals with their problems. We believe our productive working relationship with Vodafone has seen us challenging and encouraging them to improve customer service, making things better for all their consumers.
“However, it’s disappointing that Ofcom found that Vodafone was failing to correctly signpost consumers to us if their complaint had not been resolved within eight weeks. Consumers have a right to approach an ombudsman to complain if their provider has failed to solve the problem and companies have a duty to make them aware of this.
“Last year, an Ofcom report flagged failures with signposting across the communications industry, and not enough has been done to improve these practices, by Vodafone and many other companies in the sector.
“So far this year, we’ve received 33,672 complaints about communications companies, up 64% from the same period last year, so it’s clear a significant number of customers are still dissatisfied with the service they’ve received. We encourage any consumer who has complained to a telecoms company, but remains dissatisfied, to contact us. Our service is free to the consumer and we can be contacted on 0330 440 1614, or by website at Ombudsman Services: Communications – we’re here to help.”
Published October 2016