Vodafone upset after €400,000 roaming penalty
The operator says it is unhappy with the way Irish regulator ComReg acted over a roaming issue which has cost the company €400,000.
Vodafone has reached a €400,000 (£335,000) settlement with the Irish communications regulator ComReg, after the latter accused the former of breaching EU laws designed to prevent data bill shocks.
The operator allegedly failed to implement a default spending cap option, which should have helped customers avoid high data bills.
It was claimed over 5,000 customers were affected, most of whom were business users and were kept on a €300 default spend cap, not the €50 cap option as deemed appropriate by ComReg’s reading of the EU rules.
The company is disappointed with the regulator's approach on this issue.
Vodafone decided to settle rather than fight it out with ComReg in court, but said it was disappointed in the regulator’s actions.
“Vodafone has settled with the regulator in the interest of achieving clarity for our customers, however the company is disappointed with the regulator's approach on this issue,” Paul Ryan, strategy director at Vodafone Ireland, told IT Pro.
“Vodafone has always led the market in roaming from pricing to innovation. In other European markets, regulators have facilitated flexibility on data roaming pricing that recognises a need for higher caps on certain packages to meet customer requirements.
“Over the last 18 months Vodafone has repeatedly sought to engage with ComReg in order to seek guidance and clarity with regard to their requirements as would be the norm in these situations.”
Whilst Vodafone admitted it had not complied with ComReg’s interpretation of the law, it claimed to have complied with cap laws in accordance with European Regulators Group (ERG) guidelines.
“ERG guidelines aim at providing practical, proportionate and pragmatic guidance and advise that operators should provide consumer friendly solutions,” Vodafone said.
“The majority of Vodafone Ireland’s data roaming customers, over 90 per cent, are on a default tariff which applies the €50 data roaming cap and is fully compliant with ComReg’s interpretation of current EU data roaming regulations.”
Vodafone said that those customers on a higher default tariff were being notified from today.