Vodafone customers up for refund over third-party charges

Vodafone admits charging for content not ordered

Money
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Telco to refund users stung by third-party billing

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VODAFONE customers who complained about being unknowingly charged for online games, apps and ringtones on their phone accounts will be up for a refund, after the telco admitted it breached securities and investment laws.

Vodafone will refund customers over third party content charges they had not agreed to buy or had purchased unknowingly, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced on Tuesday

The ACCC is responsible for enforcing this undertaking, which applies to content available between January 1, 2013, and March 2018. Vodafone has until November 4 to get in touch with affected customers.

Vodafone customers are entitled to a refund or credit if they complained about third party content to Vodafone or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, or if charges were incurred for one of the specified third party content providers and a refund has not yet been provided.

Customers who are unsure if this applies to them can contact Vodafone on 1300 650 410.

The competition watchdog fined Telstra $10 million in April 2018 for similar breaches of the ASIC Act that affected more than 100,000 customers while Optus was also fined $10 million in February 2019.

The ACCC said all other residential consumers or small businesses with phone or internet billing issues should first contact their service provider.

If the complaint remains unresolved, the residential consumer or small business can make a complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman online or by phone on 1800 062 058.

More information is available on the ACCC website.

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