Customers criticise Vodafone late penalty

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Vodafone mobile customers face new penalty fees if they are late paying their bill, in a move likely to anger their consumer base.

The telecoms giant will remove leniency on customers through a $10 charge if they are more than a week late with payment, effective next month.

Vodafone says customers can avoid any penalty by setting up a direct debit with bills issued 18 days prior to payment.

“It’s true that the majority of our customers do pay their bills on time,” says Vodafone spokeswoman Michelle Baguley.

“But the cost of recovering payments from those who don’t is significant.

“And the late-payment is going to help recoup some of those costs, and has been a standard industry practice for some of our competitors for a little while.

“What we’ve decided to do…is target specific people (chronic late-payers). What it means is it doesn’t have any impact on everybody else.”

Customers are unimpressed, though; in a post on the company’s Facebook page, one user says the payment is ‘a crock’.

“You send a 17c txt to remind your customers if they have missed a payment, I think that $10 is outrageous… this is a money making exercise.”

Vodafone announced just last week that the company would purchase TelstraClear for $840 million.

As for the other telcos, Telecom also charges a late payment fee, although 2degrees does not, and has no plans to follow suit.

Do you think Vodafone are penalising customers for the minority few? Will you jump ship to 2degrees? Let us know your comments below.

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