16 Jan 2014

Vodafone pays out over free offer

7:06 pm on 16 January 2014

Mobile phone company Vodafone has paid almost $270,000 to reimburse customers after charging them for what was supposed to be a free promotion. Many people ended up paying for the service.

Customers were offered three months of free internet for their mobile phone, but if they did not cancel the service during this time they were charged $10 a month.

Two years into the promotion, the Commerce Commission began receiving complaints from users and began an investigation.

It found more than 8000 people did not get an opt-out text and 3000 were charged even though they cancelled the service.

The commission's consumer manager, Stuart Wallace, said opt-out promotions have a high risk of being misleading and in breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Vodafone was found to have been unclear about the conditions and reached a settlement with the commission for just over $268,000.