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Vodafone NZ fined $350,000 for sloppy billing

Telco falls foul of regulator over billing errors
Fined $350k.

Fined $350k.

Vodafone NZ was fined $350,000 in Auckland District Court today following its guilty plea in February for breaches of the Fair Trading Act. 

The breaches related to billing errors which occurred between 2012 and 2018, made when customers gave advance notice about terminating their services.

Vodafone CEO, Jason Paris, said every customer deserves an accurate bill every month. 

"We clearly fell well short of that in this instance, and for that I apologise. If you get it wrong, you should put your hand up, acknowledge it, and make it right.”

The billing error arose for a proportion of customers who had a new billing cycle start within their notice period of termination. In these cases, an invoice was generated for another full month, rather than pro-rated for the number of days remaining in the notice period. 

As a result, some customers overpaid Vodafone. On average, affected customers were over-charged by $9.70 each, the company said in a statement.

Vodafone has applied credits to the accounts of all current and former customers affected by the error and undertaken an programme to contact and reimburse them.

In making its ruling, the Court took into account the fact that Vodafone had co-operated with the Commerce Commission and Vodafone’s guilty plea and remediation efforts.