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Vodafone hidden costs (Read 14,049 times)
gp_uk
Ex Member


Vodafone hidden costs
Jul 10th, 2006 at 9:31pm
 
I think it's a known fact on here that Vodafone keep the cost of calling NGN's a secret?
I have hunted high and low for this information but can't find it.

In their T&C's they state that calls to NGN's cost the same as a standard UK landline but are not included in your inclusive monthly minutes, which in my case is 15p a min.
Last week I had to bite the bullet and call an 0871 number (it was TopUpTV ... no-one knows a geo for them) and I wanted to cancel my subscription.
When I saw the cost of the call on my online account I noticed it was charged more than my standard rate. Trying to get an answer out of them has been hard. Why are they allowed to hide the true costs? They now tell me that all 08xx NGN's are classed as premium rate, despite their T+C's saying otherwise.


Me:

Since you don't publish (or I cannot find) what it costs to call non geographic numbers from your network i.e. 0870, 0845, 0871 etc ... I
would †like to know where I can find this information.

I quote from your Terms and Conditions :

"Calls to non-geographic numbers are charged at the same rate as calls to UK landlines"

On my price plan it costs 15p a min to call UK landlines.

Why have I been charged 54.1p for a 2min:33sec to an 0871 number?. I calculated this should have cost no more than 38p i.e. 15p x 2 †= 30p + half a minute (7.5p) rounded up to 38p. Rough calculations show you are charging approx 21-22 p a minute.

Why is the real cost of calling NGN's a secret, and not published on your website ?

Them:

... the calls are charged in 1 second units and also there is no peak or off peak rates for premium rate calls.

and

I can confirm that calls to non-geographical numbers are not charged as per landline call charge on your price plan.

The non-geographical numbers are charged as per premium rate charges and are normally high charges as compared to another network call charges.

All 08.. Numbers are covered under premium rate and non-geographical numbers.

I can confirm that the charges on your account are correct.

If you have any more queries please feel free to contact us.



What do you do? †Angry
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Dave
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #1 - Jul 10th, 2006 at 10:01pm
 
Quote:
I quote from your Terms and Conditions :

"Calls to non-geographic numbers are charged at the same rate as calls to UK landlines"

Remember that non-geographic numbers (or non-geographical numbers as I prefer to call them) are all numbers except geographical ones. That is by definition.

So 07, 08 and 09 are all non-geographical.

I notice that on the commercial for Vodafone's Stop the Clock service they say that it applies to UK landlines and mobile networks and then go on to say that it excludes non-geographical numbers.  Roll Eyes
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gp_uk
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #2 - Jul 10th, 2006 at 10:25pm
 
Quote:
So 07, 08 and 09 are all non-geographical

Yeah, true. I should have perhaps worded it better ... Heh, if stop the clock excludes non-geographical numbers then it excludes 07 numbers too †SmileyWink

So Vodafone claim that 0871 0845 0870 are premium rate calls ... even though I have a premium rate bar on my account †Huh

I have asked them for a third time what it costs to call such numbers. If I find out I will post the answer incase it may be useful to anyone else †Smiley
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bbb_uk
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #3 - Jul 11th, 2006 at 1:57pm
 
I'm afraid Vodafone, like most other telco's (landline and mobile), go out of their way to avoid you knowing how much it costs to calls these type of NGNs.

It's useless complaining to useless Ofcon as all they'll say is that they have already modified General Condition 14 that requires communications providers to give equal prominence to their charges for ordinary geographic calls and NTS calls. †These new rules come into effect on 19th August.
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« Last Edit: Jul 11th, 2006 at 1:57pm by bbb_uk »  
 
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bbb_uk
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #4 - Jul 11th, 2006 at 3:29pm
 
Quote:
"Calls to non-geographic numbers are charged at the same rate as calls to UK landlines"

On my price plan it costs 15p a min to call UK landlines.

Why have I been charged 54.1p for a 2min:33sec to an 0871 number?. I calculated this should have cost no more than 38p i.e. 15p x 2 †= 30p + half a minute (7.5p) rounded up to 38p. Rough calculations show you are charging approx 21-22 p a minute.
You could try saying that they are breaking the terms of their own T&C contract that you agreed to when signing-up.

As they lied about this in their t&c and that calls to 084x/087x cost more than that to a UK landline then you have good reason to get out of your contract with them.
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Dave
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #5 - Jul 12th, 2006 at 2:11pm
 
I heard a radio commercial this morning promoting one of Vodafone's services (can't remember which one) and at the end 'small print' it said "Excludes calls to 08 and 09 numbers." I presume any offer would also exclude 070 numbers aswell, but there was no mention.
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« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2006 at 2:33pm by Dave »  
 
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gp_uk
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #6 - Jul 12th, 2006 at 5:20pm
 
Quote:
You could try saying that they are breaking the terms of their own T&C contract that you agreed to when signing-up.

I am currently arming myself with all the facts and may just throw this at them as they have obviously mis-sold the contract.

Got this out of them

Thank you for contacting Vodafone Customer Service regarding the call charges to non-geographical numbers.

I am pleased to tell you that;

Call charges to 08... series numbers are charged at 35p (inclusive of VAT).
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Please can you send the details as an attachment regarding the 'terms and conditions' (that NGN's are charged at same rate as UK landlines).

If there is anything else we can assist you with, please feel free to contact us.



So from that I take it that 0800 being an 08 NGN costs 35p a min at all times too ...

That was the first and is the last NGN I have called from Vodafone.
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bbb_uk
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #7 - Jul 12th, 2006 at 7:27pm
 
Quote:
I am pleased to tell you that;

Call charges to 08... series numbers are charged at 35p (inclusive of VAT).
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Please can you send the details as an attachment regarding the 'terms and conditions' (that NGN's are charged at same rate as UK landlines).
If their own customer services doesn't know the cost of these calls then how on earth are we to know!

Quote:
So from that I take it that 0800 being an 08 NGN costs 35p a min at all times too
freephone numbers do cost a lot but I'm not sure of the exact cost but I believe that if you try to dial a freephone number it will inform you that you will pay for the cost and I believe the cost as well (well it did when I was on Voda).  Now despite them able to do this for freephone numbers, the mobile networks tell Ofcom it's way too expensive to be done on other NGNs as well.

Surely this existing system can just be adapted/amended to include announcements for the other NGNs but as usual Ofcom believes (and sides) with that of the Teleco's.
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gp_uk
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #8 - Jul 12th, 2006 at 9:23pm
 
Quote:
if you try to dial a freephone number it will inform you that you will pay for the cost and I believe the cost as well (well it did when I was on Voda).

You're right ... but it just says 'charged at your standard rate' which I presume is 15p. I'd go out in the rain if I had to and use a payphone instead!

I believe a NGN charge announcement system should be easy enough to implement, like you say, they have one for the freephone numbers. I have told Vodafone that they don't let anyone know the cost to call NGN's (I suppose they just hope that Joe Public is dumb and ignorant and just pay the bill without checking it)

Me: Why you keep these costs secret. They are not published *anywhere*

Them: The calls charges to premium rate numbers and non-geographic numbers differs from company to company.

... whatever that means †Undecided
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« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2006 at 9:37pm by N/A »  
 
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Vodafone hidden costs
Reply #9 - Jul 18th, 2006 at 8:27pm
 
Vodafone are the most disgraceful and pathologically dishonest mobile company about NGN call charges in the UK, especially for their Pay as You Go customers where you won't get the call cost disclosed at all as Vodafone do not provide even online billing for their PAYG customers.

I emailed as high as the European CEO of Vodafone Arun Sarun last year and got a reply back from some numpty female customer care adviser by paper letter telling me that 084 and 087 calls cost the same as other uk national calls.  I then called back and created hell and eventually discovered that there is a hidden technical information call centre at Vodafone that employs intelligent life forms who did know all the prices.  But they only provided them verbally - no question of them sending me an email or it being on a web page somewhere.

From memory they told me that 0870 and 0845 cost 30p weekday peak and 10p per minute off peak while 0800 was cheaper and was either 10p or 30p per minute peak (forget which) and 5p per minute offpeak on Vodafone SmartPlus and Vodafone SmartStep PAYG.  I also had cause to challenge some docking of my call credit with them on incoming roaming calls in Greece in Oct 2003 and after much tooing and froing at high level they sent me a meaningless durge of control character based output from their systems (which they normally have the cheek to charge 10 quid for although didn't in this case) that looked like some form of programming language and which definitely only included the numbers called or calling and the call length but not what they had docked my credit for.

Basically organised uncompetitive cartels like the mobile phone industry will not provide proper information unless they are sat heavily on by the regalator.  In other industries the regulator, the Office of Fair Trading, seems to be doing quite a good job and has stopped some quite trivial cartels for instance on the cost of sunglasses.  Unfortunately the OFT's powers on telecoms and broadcasting are delegated to Ofcom and Ofcom is totally infiltrated by senior people from the telecoms industry and those industies seem to have some very powerful New Labour friends indeed.

For instance Capita run the BBC's 0870 call centres and one of the directors of Capita is one of the largest secret loan givers to New Labour.  So despite thousands of complaints a year to the BBC about its 0870 BBC Information call centre con nothing is done.

MPs repeatedly ask questions in Parliament and yet still OfCon allows most of these scams to continue and pretends it is doing something while allowing new scams to develop that it then takes years to act against.  If you regard large European mobile phone operators and large European fixed line telcos as latterday versions of the Mafia then you will learn to expect them to behave as unethically as they can possibly get away with.  And that in a nutshell I am afraid is it.

After today's announcement on the air fare hidden charges con being stopped by the EU Commission I am beginning to wonder if a reference to that body on this whole lack of transparency and information on uk call pricing might be the way to go given that OfCoN have so dismally failed the best interests of the uk general public.  But then again do I have time for all the endless legal paperwork to make that happen..........................................................................
..
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