Vodafone botched my direct debit and after NINE months it's still not fixed
It's been nine months and Vodafone still hasn't managed to fix my direct debits
My phone contract has been with Vodafone for more than 10 years now and I’ve never had any problems until recently when it started to cancel my direct debit.
Since February this year my direct debit payments haven’t been working properly and the money hasn’t been taken out of my account.
This means every month I am having to call Vodafone and pay the balance over the phone and then set the direct debit up again – only for the same thing to happen the next month.
In August this year I was so frustrated I complained to Vodafone and received £100 in compensation and the promise that the problem was resolved.
However, once again in September the money wasn’t taken and I’ve just spent an hour and a half on the phone to Vodafone trying to get it resolved. I’ve already complained, what more can I do now to get the problem sorted? Meg Dickens, via email
Rebecca Rutt, of This is Money, replies: Vodafone is not having a great year and we’ve been flooded with emails from readers who are having problems with the communications giant.
The issue you’re having with your direct debit payments is one we’ve seen regularly and there seems to be a fundamental problem at Vodafone with setting up direct debit payments for customers.
The whole point of paying by direct debit means there’s no danger of you falling behind on your bills because the amount is automatically taken out of your account every month.
Vodafone was fined £4.6 million by the regulator Ofcom in October over a string of failings
Yet in your case you’ve had to call Vodafone and pay your bill every month for the past nine, which I imagine is extremely frustrating let alone time consuming.
To add insult to injury, Vodafone told you in August the problem would be sorted and paid you £100, yet it still wasn’t able to sort the problem out. We got in contact with it to try and find out what had gone wrong.
A spokesperson said: ‘We’re sorry Ms Dickens had these issues with her direct debit. We can confirm that we have resolved this.
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‘We have already made a goodwill payment of £100 and, when we are satisfied that the direct debit is running as it should, we’ll make a further credit to cover a month’s line rental by way of apology for the delay in putting this right.’
It confirmed the problem had been with the way the direct debit was set up, which has now been fixed.
However, there is no excuse for it taking nine months to fix, or the fact you are not the only person this has happened to.
Vodafone received a fine of £4.6 million by the regulator Ofcom in October over a string of failings, including mis-selling, inaccurate bills and poor complaints handling, yet the stories we’ve heard from our readers suggest the problems are far from resolved.
Another route you could have taken is complaining officially to Vodafone, and then after eight weeks taking your complaint to the ombudsman – if you weren’t happy with the response from Vodafone.
Complaints about Vodafone are dealt with by the Ombudsman Services: Communications which can look into issues such as yours independently and could ask Vodafone to pay you compensation for the time you’ve spent trying to resolve the problem.