/ Money, Technology

Have you been hit by this Vodafone billing blunder?

Vodafone

Major billing problems have hit thousands of Vodafone customers across the UK. Have you checked your bill?

Now I don’t know about you but I have a fairly strict budget. I recently purchased my first house so I’ve meticulously worked out which direct debits are coming out of my account, when and how much for.

I’m still learning what’s ‘affordable’ – currently that’s not a lot – so I would be seriously peeved if I were to discover that I’d been randomly overcharged due to known billing problems.

Vodafone billing

Well that’s exactly what seems to be happening to Vodafone customers across the UK after it recently came to light that thousands have been hit with billing errors.

Errors we’re aware of include customers being registered on the wrong tariff, and incorrect amounts being debited from bank accounts. Some have even reported large sums of money being taken.

Vodafone has said many of the billing issues are related to the migration of billing and services platforms onto a new state-of-the-art system.

With some 20 million customers in the UK, it’s likely that many more Vodafone customers could be affected by these billing problems.

Challenge your bill

If you’re a Vodafone customer then make sure you check your bill – are you on the right tariff, and is the amount you’re being charged accurate?

If you think there’s something wrong then you need to challenge your mobile phone bill by reporting it to Vodafone. You can contact Vodafone by either calling 44555 for free from your Vodafone mobile or contacting it online. Make sure you keep a record of all correspondence, including dates and the names of anyone you speak to.

We’ll also be following up with Vodafone ourselves, so tell us if you’ve been affected by billing errors and what your experience has been.

So have you been affected by a billing error? Has this been resolved for you yet? What’s your experience been?

Comments
mike ruscoe says:
16 January 2017

i have been having ongoing problems since early last year they hadnt taken out the money from my bank so called then to be tols i didnt owe anything as it had been paid which i told then it hadnt the next month was the same and this carried on but my bills were going up more that what my contract was for i spoke to them again with no luck so i cancelled my dd with the bank untill they sort it out last week i had a bill for £755.oo so spoke to them again they couldnt confirm my account over the phone and told me to go to my neaest voda phone shop whic i agreed to do toda y 16/01/2017 i have had a letter from a dept recovery firm demanding £1760.36p so an incease of over £1000 since i spoke to them last week HELP

graham says:
17 January 2017

I have finally resolved my over-billing issues with Vodafone that began when I upgraded my phone in May last year. They have offered me what I consider a derisory 100 GBP in compensation for 8 months of calls to their customer services department, trips to the local shop and seemingly endless and ultimately useless text chats with them. All to try and stop them taking money on a direct debit for a mobile number attached to a devise I had returned to the local shop.

Have other people accepted compensation from Vodafone for recent billing issues? If so I would be interested to know the levels of compensation that they are prepared to go to.

I’m hoping that I’ve not missed the boat on the help front but here goes..

So since the summer Vodafone has been sending me text messages saying that I owe the full amount of my contract as opposed to the monthly payments I had agreed with.. I spoke to Vodafone, they advised me not to pay my bill as they had no way of accepting payments less than what their faulty system was requesting and told that they would be back in touch when they had a solution. So now they are contacting me and basically asking me either to cough up the ~£350 or pay half of that over the next two months – which I obviously cannot afford considering I agreed to a £30 a month contract.. What are my rights in this situation??

I don’t believe this ! Vodaphone unlike most big companies REFUSE to print their terms + Conditions on the WEB , in other Convo,s I could help people out by reading the legal points and replying . Not so Vodaphone EACH individual customer must apply PERSONALLY to Vodaphone . You would think you were trying to join MI6 , it means they can vary it to suite themselves . CK in NORMAL circumstances they are breaking the contract they have with you by changing the conditions you agreed to on taking out the contract. What they are going to say-well YOU broke it because you didn’t pay in contract time terms thats ********* business practice (trying to keep within the law ) BUT as I cant obtain the terms+conditions I am stuck for a better answer . Its not your fault their computer wouldn’t accept payment . What I will do is check to see if this type of practice has been criticised on the web officially then it becomes public knowledge and I can post what I really think. Vodaphone has moved all their customers onto a new computer dealing with all aspects of its service , this has led to complaints to OFCOM to go through the roof they have been advised if Vodaphone wont budge then you should escalate it to Ofcom,s, approved dispute resolution scheme.

Rosemarie says:
21 May 2017

I have been a Vodafone customer for 13 years. I trusted Vodafone as everything was great for tye first few years.then last year I noticed my bill almost doubled.I phoned Vodafone and they knew it was not right and sorted it. I then started to look back all my bill. To my shock for about 5 years they had been charging me for things I used or had. I contacted them and was basically shouted at by customer services, I was trying to explain where and when it all started but he would not listen. For months I was neve off the phone as I would ask for copies of my bills that I did not have, was give the run around for almost 5 months. I then said I would pay no more and and was going to ombudsman to get it resolved. I was not owe them money but they cut my phone off and told me I would get it back on when they had requested paperwork that they had to get back within theor own company. A man named omar in customer resolutions team blatantly lied to me on the phone and he and his senior left me on hold for almost an hour for no reason. All this resulted in bank charges even affecting my credit scoreand was paying for a phone contract that they turned off.luckily I had all the evidence to prove that they had been over charging me. They then offered me me £357. Off my bill but I was never even owe that money in the first place so all they were doing was correcting their mistakes. I spent 7 months having to get it sorted some days I would have to call 5 or 6 times as they would say yes sort it now then wasn’t. For all the hassle and stress of being lied to almost every day for 7 months having no phone and credit score affected. They offered me nothing. They said as a good will gesture they would wipe the bill that I never owed them. That was only for last year. I will now be going back to ombudsman with all my evidence of bills bank statements of when it started 5 as I never got the past bills resolved. Feel totally let down by a company I had been with 13 years and was treated in a discussing manner through it all. Can definitely say I won’t be renewing my contact and wI’ll be not recommending them to friends and family

Your post is shocking Rosemarie and the WWW is full of complaints about customer service from Vodaphone- Australia-USA- Egypt- India – every part of the globe that has a Vodaphone “service ” reams of webpages complaining of rude, aggressive, arrogant , lying service , and how can I post this ? because website after website in every country has customers complaining of this treatment—and worse !! Its not just “in the public domain ” its broadcast on every social website including the big worldwide ones . I can not accept that Vodaphone “dont know about this ” you would need to be dead in your grave not to see. hear the comments, British newspapers Australian newspapers , , Indian newspapers it just goes on . My question is –if this is a British company then its doing a grand job of bringing down this countries prestige , the government must know about this but because of British “lax laws in relation to businesses they ,seemingly can run roughshod over British citizens . On the other hand Vodaphone have sold up in the USA to Verizon for $130 Billion and I can work out why , as I have posted many times the US Federal Authorities look after US citizens and wouldn’t let this type of thing go unchallenged not just fines but restriction of business , depending on individual States as well introducing State legislation. You know what USA Today newspaper says — First headline—the largest US wireless carrier is NOW 100 % American- good for them !

NYSE- London-Vodaphone Group PLC(VOD.LN ) 5 days ago- set for more profit+gains in the current year after achieving its target for fiscal year -2017 -adjusted earnings -March 31st -rose 3.4 % to 15.8 BILLION euros . I am sure the multitude of people including Rosemarie have “helped ” here. VOD Group market capital-76.32 Billion ($) Why not contact head office ? – Vodaphone House , the Connection Newbury, RG14-2FN -phone – 0163533251 maybe you will get better attention ?

Lauren says:
23 May 2017

Please can someone offer me some advice. I took out a contract with Vodafone in 2012, first couple of months everything was fine. I had a DD set up, so didn’t check my account on a regular basis, I also had a works mobile through the company I worked for and wifi at home, hadn’t been abroad etc. so there was no reason for my bill to rise significantly. However when I noticed that several hundred pounds a month had been leaving my account over a period of 6 months (I found this out, as several of my payments bounced one month and I budget quite tightly so know what is going in should cover what is going out as long as there are no drastic changes and nothing unexpected) I contact my bank and then Vodafone to query it. I was confused and assumed that there had clearly been some mistake on Vodafone’s part, that this would be simple to investigate and resolve. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Upon speaking to Vodafone the first time (of many many phone calls to come) round about this issue, their customer service representative informed me that it was my own fault for not checking my bills more regularly and basically said why should they do anything about it, if I couldn’t be bothered to check my account. I’m sure you can understand how astounded I was by this. I am a single mother of two, who also works full time, so checking my account with Vodafone monthly to make sure they had not made any mistakes (should I really have needed to do this with ) was not something I considered I needed to add to my to do list. I asked to speak with manager, multiple phone calls ensured, all along the same lines. I explained that the figures couldn’t be right and they said there was nothing they could do. I even asked them where the substantial amount of charges were coming from, one person told me it was calls, another data but no one would provide me with a breakdown or any detail (my normal contract amount was around £60 and I was being billed between £115 and £250), eventually someone suggested I go into a store as there must be something wrong with my phone. I went into the Altrincham Vodafone store, explained to the guy my issue. He was very nice about it, said clearly something was not right and swapped out the sim car. He also suggested that maybe my phone was making internet calls every time I made a phone call and maybe this was contributing to the substantial and unexplained charges, although he wasn’t sure if this was possible ad unable to explain if this was the case how this could be prevented. Still worried, I went into Carfone Warehouse Geek squad a few doors down from the vodafone store and asked them whether they had any advice. They said that my phone (an old LG Optimus model) was incapable of even connecting to the internet whilst making a phone call at the same time, so that could not be the case. Even so they recommended I take the sim card out of the phone for a month and not use it (I was luckily able to rely on my works phone in the interim, as I barely used my personal), so this is what I did. I actually left the sim card out for nearly two months and continued to ring Vodafone in the meantime to explain what I had done and try to get the issue resolved about the unexplained charges. During the time the sim card was not in my phone, i was charged £257 one month and £227 the next which was again taken out of my account by DD. I rang Vodafone each time and explained that this was impossible as the sim card was not in use, they said they would look into it and no one ever got back to me. On one of my last phone calls to them I was so upset as they had overcharged me by over £800 at this point, I explained that all I was asking was for this to be investigated, be able to trust that my bills would be accurate and for them to refund any moneys that had been taken by mistake. I also explained that I was unable to use my Vodafone account as I was worried that it was just going to keep bleeding me dry each month. Again they were less than helpful, on each call there seemed to be little if any record of previous calls and it was like talking to a brick wall. Eventually I asked them to cancel my contract, I explained that I knew I had 8 months left of an 18 month contract and there may be some cancellation fee, which I would be happy to pay as soon as they had sorted out their issue and were able to account for the overpayments that I had already made. They said someone was going to call me back and they never did. I rang my bank as I had to cancel the DD and explained to them the situation. My bank investigated the matter and actually claimed back the £800 overpayment on my behalf. I rang Vodafone again and explained and again requested that my account be cancelled and that they resolve the issues as I was still getting bills from them. As I understood it, my account was being cancelled and the case looked into. The last time I rang Vodafone was in April or May 2013.
The next I hear about this is nearly a year later from their debt collection agency. I explained to them the situation and they said they would go back to Vodafone and put it on hold until they had a response. I had several letter from them to my new address and rang them to explain the situation each time and each time it was as if they had know nothing about the last conversation (surely they must keep notes of phone calls).
The next I hear about this is via my credit rating, where I find out a CCJ has been put against my name to the tune of £1,418. Around the same time I also find out that my application for a new tenancy on a house which I hoping to move into with my children in just over two weeks time has been declined. All checks were passed with flying colours other than the credit search which only shows this CCJ. I have until 5pm today to provide proof to the letting agent that this is a mistake by Vodafone and not me or the next Applicant will be put through instead. I am now panicking. I have spent over an hour on the phone to Vodafone today (note their customer services are far more polite and are at least trying to help, compared with how they were several years ago when the issue was initially going on) all they can do is send me an email, saying this is being looked into by their complaints team and it will take four days for their complaints team to come back to me. It has taken months to find this house, in an area where houses go way to quickly, finally I find something that is perfect for me and the children, paid the £150 application fee (which I will lose if I don’t get the house) and now it has been scuppered because Vodafone quite clearly had some technical issues a few years ago. I understand that migrating from legacy systems can cause issue, problems happen in every line of work, but what I can’t understand or accept is how it was dealt with by their customer services team, the fact that it was never properly investigated or resolved.

Please can someone advise the best and fastest way to move forward with this? Thank you in advance.

Lauren says:
23 May 2017

Please can someone offer me some advice. I took out a contract with Vodafone in 2012, first couple of months everything was fine. I had a DD set up, so didn’t check my account on a regular basis, I also had a works mobile through the company I worked for and wifi at home, hadn’t been abroad etc. so there was no reason for my bill to rise significantly. However when I noticed that several hundred pounds a month had been leaving my account over a period of 6 months (I found this out, as several of my payments bounced one month and I budget quite tightly so know what is going in should cover what is going out as long as there are no drastic changes and nothing unexpected) I contact my bank and then Vodafone to query it. I was confused and assumed that there had clearly been some mistake on Vodafone’s part, that this would be simple to investigate and resolve. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Upon speaking to Vodafone the first time (of many many phone calls to come) round about this issue, their customer service representative informed me that it was my own fault for not checking my bills more regularly and basically said why should they do anything about it, if I couldn’t be bothered to check my account. I’m sure you can understand how astounded I was by this. I am a single mother of two, who also works full time, so checking my account with Vodafone monthly to make sure they had not made any mistakes (should I really have needed to do this with ) was not something I considered I needed to add to my to do list. I asked to speak with manager, multiple phone calls ensured, all along the same lines. I explained that the figures couldn’t be right and they said there was nothing they could do. I even asked them where the substantial amount of charges were coming from, one person told me it was calls, another data but no one would provide me with a breakdown or any detail (my normal contract amount was around £60 and I was being billed between £115 and £250), eventually someone suggested I go into a store as there must be something wrong with my phone. I went into the Altrincham Vodafone store, explained to the guy my issue. He was very nice about it, said clearly something was not right and swapped out the sim car. He also suggested that maybe my phone was making internet calls every time I made a phone call and maybe this was contributing to the substantial and unexplained charges, although he wasn’t sure if this was possible ad unable to explain if this was the case how this could be prevented. Still worried, I went into Carfone Warehouse Geek squad a few doors down from the vodafone store and asked them whether they had any advice. They said that my phone (an old LG Optimus model) was incapable of even connecting to the internet whilst making a phone call at the same time, so that could not be the case. Even so they recommended I take the sim card out of the phone for a month and not use it (I was luckily able to rely on my works phone in the interim, as I barely used my personal), so this is what I did. I actually left the sim card out for nearly two months and continued to ring vodafone in the meantime to explain what I had done and try to get the issue resolved about the unexplained charges. During the time the sim card was not in my phone, i was charged £257 one month and £227 the next which was again taken out of my account by DD. I rang vodafone each time and explained that this was impossible as the sim card was not in use, they said they would look into it and no one ever got back to me. On one of my last phone calls to them I was so upset as they had overcharged me by over £800 at this point, I explained that all I was asking was for this to be investigated, be able to trust that my bills would be accurate and for them to refund any moneys that had been taken by mistake. I also explained that I was unable to use my Vodafone account as I was worried that it was just going to keep bleeding me dry each month. Again they were less than helpful, on each call there seemed to be little if any record of previous calls amd it was like talking to a brick wall. Eventually I asked them to cancel my contract, I explained that I knew I had 8 months left of an 18 month contract and there may be some cancellation fee, which I would be happy to pay as soon as they had sorted out their issue and were able to account for the overpayments that I had already made. They said someone was going to call me back and they never did. I rang my bank as I had to cancel the DD and explained to them the situation. My bank investigated the matter and actually claimed back the £800 overpayment on my behalf. I rang Vodafone again and explained and again requested that my account be cancelled and that they resolve the issues as I was still getting bills from them. As I understood it, my account was being cancelled and the case looked into. The last time I rang Vodafone was in April or May 2013.
The next I hear about this is nearly a year later from their debt collection agency. I explained to them the situation and they said they would go back to Vodafone and put it on hold until they had a response. I had several letter from them to my new address and rang them to explain the situation each time and each time it was as if they had know nothing about the last conversation (surely they must keep notes of phone calls).
The next I hear about this is via my credit rating, where I find out a CCJ has been put against my name to the tune of £1,418. Around the same time I also find out that my application for a new tenancy on a house which I hoping to move into with my children in just over two weeks time has been declined. All checks were passed with flying colours other than the credit search which only shows this CCJ. I have until 5pm today to provide proof to the letting agent that this is a mistake by Vodafone and not me or the next Applicant will be put through instead. I am now panicking. I have spent over an hour on the phone to Vodafone today (note their customer services are far more polite and are at least trying to help, compared with how they were several years ago when the issue was initially going on) all they can do is send me an email, saying this is being looked into by their complaints team and it will take four days for their complaints team to come back to me. It has taken months to find this house, in an area where houses go way to quickly, finally I find something that is Please can someone offer me some advice. I took out a contract with Vodafone in 2012, first couple of months everything was fine. I had a DD set up, so didn’t check my account on a regular basis, I also had a works mobile through the company I worked for and wifi at home, hadn’t been abroad etc. so there was no reason for my bill to rise significantly. However when I noticed that several hundred pounds a month had been leaving my account over a period of 6 months (I found this out, as several of my payments bounced one month and I budget quite tightly so know what is going in should cover what is going out as long as there are no drastic changes and nothing unexpected) I contact my bank and then Vodafone to query it. I was confused and assumed that there had clearly been some mistake on Vodafone’s part, that this would be simple to investigate and resolve. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Upon speaking to Vodafone the first time (of many many phone calls to come) round about this issue, their customer service representative informed me that it was my own fault for not checking my bills more regularly and basically said why should they do anything about it, if I couldn’t be bothered to check my account. I’m sure you can understand how astounded I was by this. I am a single mother of two, who also works full time, so checking my account with Vodafone monthly to make sure they had not made any mistakes (should I really have needed to do this with ) was not something I considered I needed to add to my to do list. I asked to speak with manager, multiple phone calls ensured, all along the same lines. I explained that the figures couldn’t be right and they said there was nothing they could do. I even asked them where the substantial amount of charges were coming from, one person told me it was calls, another data but no one would provide me with a breakdown or any detail (my normal contract amount was around £60 and I was being billed between £115 and £250), eventually someone suggested I go into a store as there must be something wrong with my phone. I went into the Altrincham Vodafone store, explained to the guy my issue. He was very nice about it, said clearly something was not right and swapped out the sim car. He also suggested that maybe my phone was making internet calls every time I made a phone call and maybe this was contributing to the substantial and unexplained charges, although he wasn’t sure if this was possible ad unable to explain if this was the case how this could be prevented. Still worried, I went into Carfone Warehouse Geek squad a few doors down from the vodafone store and asked them whether they had any advice. They said that my phone (an old LG Optimus model) was incapable of even connecting to the internet whilst making a phone call at the same time, so that could not be the case. Even so they recommended I take the sim card out of the phone for a month and not use it (I was luckily able to rely on my works phone in the interim, as I barely used my personal), so this is what I did. I actually left the sim card out for nearly two months and continued to ring vodafone in the meantime to explain what I had done and try to get the issue resolved about the unexplained charges. During the time the sim card was not in my phone, i was charged £257 one month and £227 the next which was again taken out of my account by DD. I rang vodafone each time and explained that this was impossible as the sim card was not in use, they said they would look into it and no one ever got back to me. On one of my last phone calls to them I was so upset as they had overcharged me by over £800 at this point, I explained that all I was asking was for this to be investigated, be able to trust that my bills would be accurate and for them to refund any moneys that had been taken by mistake. I also explained that I was unable to use my Vodafone account as I was worried that it was just going to keep bleeding me dry each month. Again they were less than helpful, on each call there seemed to be little if any record of previous calls and it was like talking to a brick wall. Eventually I asked them to cancel my contract, I explained that I knew I had 8 months left of an 18 month contract and there may be some cancellation fee, which I would be happy to pay as soon as they had sorted out their issue and were able to account for the overpayments that I had already made. They said someone was going to call me back and they never did. I rang my bank as I had to cancel the DD and explained to them the situation. My bank investigated the matter and actually claimed back the £800 overpayment on my behalf. I rang Vodafone again and explained and again requested that my account be cancelled and that they resolve the issues as I was still getting bills from them. As I understood it, my account was being cancelled and the case looked into. The last time I rang Vodafone was in April or May 2013.
The next I hear about this is nearly a year later from their debt collection agency. I explained to them the situation and they said they would go back to Vodafone and put it on hold until they had a response. I had several letter from them to my new address and rang them to explain the situation each time and each time it was as if they had know nothing about the last conversation (surely they must keep notes of phone calls).
The next I hear about this is via my credit rating, where I find out a CCJ has been put against my name to the tune of £1,418. Around the same time I also find out that my application for a new tenancy on a house which I hoping to move into with my children in just over two weeks time has been declined. All checks were passed with flying colours other than the credit search which only shows this CCJ. I have until 5pm today to provide proof to the letting agent that this is a mistake by Vodafone and not me or the next Applicant will be put through instead. I am now panicking. I have spent over an hour on the phone to Vodafone today (note their customer services are far more polite and are at least trying to help, compared with how they were several years ago when the issue was initially going on) all they can do is send me an email, saying this is being looked into by their complaints team and it will take four days for their complaints team to come back to me. It has taken months to find this house, in an area where houses go way to quickly, finally I find something that is perfect for me and the children, paid the £150 application fee (which I will lose if I don’t get the house) and now it has been scuppered because Vodafone quite clearly had some technical issues a few years ago. I understand that migrating from legacy systems can cause issue, problems happen in every line of work, but what I can’t understand or accept is how it was dealt with by their customer services team, the fact that it was never properly investigated or resolved.

Please can someone advise the best and fastest way to move forward with this? Thank you in advance.

Contact a lawyer at once Lauren , you should never have had to go through all this dreadful situation, its Vodaphone,s fault for not sorting this out with you . You have the legal right to a breakdown in all your charges from a telephone company , BT whom I am with would supply me as well as it being available on MY BT . Its Vodaphones administration problem , the arrogance is beyond belief. Contact the Ombudsman services for this country , but this has gone so far that its affected your whole life , they obtained a CCJ -how – did you not contest it ? I would be on my bike and visiting a good lawyer and taking Vodaphone to court-pronto . British company ?? – using hard-nosed US big business tactics . Vodaphone – no shame , no manners , wont take the blame for their own faults , who do they think they are -GOD ???? or maybe its Yahweh . Disgusting !!!!

Hi Duncan,

Thank you for your response.

I think this is the route I am going to have to go down. I was hoping to avoid it, as I understand that small claims courts cost, but can’t believe they can get away with this. Have just spoken to another of their customer service representatives who was quite aggressive. He said it is impossible for that to happen. I agreed that it should be, which is why I don’t understand and was looking to get it investigated. He said it isn’t customer services fault if I racked up charges, even after explaining to him that I hadn’t. He said he had a breakdown in front of him and was going to email them to me and then said he couldn’t as I email is not working, even though I received an email to the same email address from them 20 minutes before that.

He said his name was Kila and I asked him whether he had a id number or operator number he could give to me, he said they weren’t allowed to give them out. He kept saying I he couldn’t help, so I asked to speak to his manager, whom he said is not available, so I said there must be someone senior working in their department and that I would happily hold. He responded sarcastically saying “yeah ok, if you want to hold for two days”, so i pointed out that this was clearly sarcasm and asked whether he though this was good customer service, to which he responded, yes, absolutely, I do. OK, you can hold and put the phone down on me.

I can’t believe people in business can treat each other like this.

Regarding the CCJ, I had moved house, so did not know about the CCJ until it already existed, although Vodafone had my email address and I had previously given their debt collection company my new telephone number.

Thank you for your comments, I will seek legal advice.

I see OFCOM has fined Vodaphone $4.6 million for its customer “service ” for those wanting a bit of light relief on the Vodaphone subject read this comical+ sarcastic letter written to the head of Vodaphone by a business man in 2008 : http://www.dearcustomerrealations.com/best-ever-complaint-letters/vodaphone-a-communicational-conundrum/ most browsers come up with Vodaphone publicity dept instead of scathing comments. BlackRock investments hold a lot of shares – American Global Investment management , worlds largest asset manager . Ah ! I have got them -total shares-671 institutional holders -275,451,112 total shares held , I have download the first 3 pages running to 40+ but yes guess who owns the biggest shares all the well known American “suspects ” well at least I know them and think World Banks/ IMF etc and their owners.

[Sorry Duncan, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

I Griffiths says:
22 July 2017

Hi there,

I am just glad I found this website as I need a bit of advice.

On May,16th 2017 I received my paper bill from Vodafone (summary bill) and to my surprise the bill came at £296.50. My contract is only £44 monthly so I rang Vodafone immediately, as I assumed they’ve sent me the wrong bill.

I talked to a very polite Vodafone assistant who told me I had made an international call of 1.46minutes, hence the high bill. I told him, that was a mistake as I had not make any international call and nobody had access to my mobile to make such call. Furthermore, my phone was blocked for international calls and I that I have never bothered to even learn how to disable such service as I did not use my mobile to make international calls. The Vodafone asked me if I recognised the international number and, as expected, I did not recognised the number so, he asked me to cancel the Direct Debit as they were going to investigate the matter and get back to me.
A few days later I started to receive very assertive/bordeline threatening texts from Vodafone chasing the payment for the month of May. I rang to them to find out what was going on as they had asked me to cancel the DD so, I was confused as I hadn’t heard from them in relation to the call they alleged I made.
This time I talked to a very stroppy (yound sounding) assistant who told me Vodafone investigated the issue and they concluded I made the call because the call was generated by my IMEI number. Again I told them that could not be the case because I had never made that call. I explained the whole situation again and to my surprise the young lady told me I was lying and that customers lie when they don’t want to pay a high bill. I was really offended by that a) because I wasn’t/am not lying and b) I thought it was an absurd a company could tell a customer he/she is lying just because the customer do not agree with the company. I requested to speak with the manager and after waiting for nearly 25 minutes on the phone I was put through a manager that sort of repeated what the assistant had said in a more polite manner.
I told the manager I wanted to understand further what sort of investigation had been done that could explain how I could have one call originated from my phone when I knew neither I or anybody else had used my phone. Also, I requested to know how an international call could have been made from my phone if the phoe was locked for international calls (which is a service I believed/believe is offered by Vodafone itself). The Vodafone manager told me she had no further comment on the subject and that Vodafone wouldn’t send me any further information because I had no right to receive anything in writing. At this point I told her I was going to seek advice from the ombudsman because it didn’t seem right they could force me to pay for a call I have never made. I was told by the manager “Vodafone could do no wrong because they were registered with the regulating authority” to which I replied the regulating authority would sure also protect consumers who dispute bills because they don’t believe the bill was correct. The manager then told me Vodafone would send the baillifs to my home by the end of the month if I did not pay the bill. The manager then told me I actually I had made two international calls, not just one. The first call lasted 4 seconds, immediately followed by a call that lasted 1.46 minutes (the call was to Brazil). I told her I had been told it was only one call before. I told her I wanted the detailed bill because I definitely wasn’t happy to pay for call(s) I had no idea had been made from phone without having an opinion of an independent party that could force Vodafone to investigate how that call could have been generated from my phone.
I looked online and found that a number of Vodafone users had had the same ‘phamton calls’ which turned out to be scam. So, I rang Vodafone again and they told me nobody had hacked my phone and that I wasn’t a victim of a scam. Again they insisted I made the call and suggested they could reduce the cost of the bill 50% if I paid the bill. I told them I had never had a problem paying a bill before and I that I am happy to pay the bill minus the calls because I did not make the call. I wouldn’t accept the offer of 50% reduction because I didn’t want to be put in a situation where the following month I would find in my bill a call to Timbuktu and again I wouldn’t know what that was about. I added that accepting a discount would be tantamount to accepting I made the call and I know that I had never made the call (neither anybody had access to my device). At this point I requested a deadlock letter.
Since then Vodafone had made my life a nightmare by restricting my phone and sending me really horrible letters threatening me with baillifs. The 8 weeks went by I never received the deadlock from Vodafone. A few days ago I was able to fill my complaint with the Ombudsman and coincidence or not, I received Vodafone deadlock letter 2 days later.

My questions is as follows: Should I pay the bill whilst I wait for a resolution from the Ombudsman (which can take another 8 weeks + 28 days from Vodafone to implement any advice/recommendation from the ombudsman)?

So far I haven’t paid Vodafone bill and by principle I think I should not pay the bill until this is solved (one way or the other). However having my mobile number restricted (this is a number I have been using for the last 20 years) is really impacting negatively in my life.

I don’t want my credit score to be hindered by Vodafone (they are threatening to do that in their letters) and I don’t want to have baillifs at my door (another Vodafone threat). Affordability has never been an issue for me. I could have paid the bill and probably I wouldn’t have even noticed themoney being taken out from my bank account via DD if I had not been at home the day the bill arrived. However, I find totally absurd a company can cause so much hassle in my life when I can swear on my life that I had never made the call and I don’t know how such call could have been made if I did not make it myself; nobody had access to my mobile and my phone is blocked for international calls.

Grateful for any advice and apologies for this very long text

Apologies for the appaling English at times. I should have read the text before publishing it

I. Griffiths -What an arrogant company !, well seeing its majority shareholders aren’t British , BT might be a bit dearer but, by god ! they have never treated me like that , might take a while to get the wheels in motion but they haven’t let me down yet nor dropped to this ridiculous level of customer service where they are omniscient and act like they are God. That HMG lets them away with this is a stain on the character of Britain treating it like a third world country . In practical terms pay up just now and keep your action going via the Ombudsman and once that is sorted out _LEAVE the company and port your number to another company -Porting Authorisation Code ( PAC ) . Both Vodaphone + EE have the voted on worst record for service for mobiles in the UK . Your right they have a record of being hacked and in Australia they have been accused of hacking themselves. I should have added dont cancel your contract untill you have transferred your number see- : https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/porting-your-mobile-phone-number/

I would also recommend sending this case to Ofcom as an example of a flagrant denial of consumer rights, appalling customer service, unjustified harassment, menaces and threats, and possible breach of the operating licence.

There are two ombudsman services for complaints about telecom service providers and it would be worth doing some research to see if one is more effective than the other with this particular problem. Citizens Advice might be able to suggest which is the best route to take.

I consider this is the sort of case that Which? should take up on behalf of consumers generally; there are so few mobile phone companies now and in consequence consumers need much more protection.

Yasmin abdi says:
5 October 2017

It’s my worst experience with Vodafone. I have always been overcharged and when ever I ask them they would say it’s charity that takes the extras. Which I was never Made aware of .and they would tell me call this number cuzco there is nothing we can do about it. Absolute disgraceful that I had to pay something I couldn’t afford. Till I have lost my job. It got more serious that I was even struggling to my normal bill let alone to extrass than became too much I called them and warned them that I am on edge to cancel my debit card. Still nobody listed and took me too serious. However I cancelled and requested to pay my balances. They would come with excuses to keep me. But unfortunately I have got in financial crisis after I have lost my child and become homeless. Till today I have to pay defaults which is about £1000+… they wouldn’t help me to settle the payment I would stay on the line for too long and in the end then I get through they pass me to one another… punch of cowboys totally worst telecommunications in my life time. They would wait till its too much to pay .

Liam becks says:
2 January 2018

Vodaphone… what a joke!!!!!! You think It’s ok to keep over charging my girl friend! You make her cry, you restrict her repeatedly when she owes you nothing! We have to take time out of work to go to your shop and prove to you that she don’t owe you nothing Then you agree that she owes you nothing but 2 days later restricted again through no fault of her own! So phone up again and Vodafone tried to charge her for some b******t reason ! Anyway this has been going on since August 2017. Your advisors are shit! Non of you seem to no what you are doing… so would I recommend a family member or friend to Vodafone???? NO!! In fact I will be leaving Vodafone so will my girlfriend. So thanks Vodafone for all the upset and stress that you have caused us !! Well done 👍

Ana says:
17 May 2019

I was also a victim of this billing scandal and they ruined my life. Still I haven’t received my overcharged 350 pounds back, they removed themselves from the ombudsman list so that they don’t have to answer complaints. I truly hope Vodafone sinks and dies, they are con artists!
Boycott them, leave them if you are with them before they trap you also.

Liane Riddles says:
6 June 2019

I have a bill of over £300 and its not even a first bill I’m more than half way through my contract. My bill is normally about £70 so dosent make sense all it says is mps line rental. What happened was someone rang me up from Vodafone said that I can save money and get more data it wouldn’t change the length of the contract or start a new one. When I got home and looked at my bills they had taken my last bill that was higher and said it would be saving me money based on that month which was a error. He lied as when I looked at my previous bills it actually worked out more expensive each month so I rang them up which was within the 30 days that I could change back to my original plan I wasn’t happy I was lied to. And I was told that was fine and now this huge bill. Which I was told was a mistake but they haven’t changed it so getting even more annoyed with them. I can’t afford to pay over £300