Vodafone pays $268k to settle ‘Broadband Lite’ complaints
Jan. 16 (BusinessDesk) - Vodafone New Zealand, the country’s biggest mobile phone operator, has paid $268,231 to customers as part of a settlement over its ‘Broadband Lite’ promotion between 2009 and 2011.
The Commerce Commission launched an investigation into the promotion after receiving complaints that some customers weren’t adequately advised about the terms of the service, the antitrust regulator said in a statement. Its investigation found about 8,000 of the 146,000 who signed up to the promotion didn’t received an opt-out reminder after the free three-month trial period ended.
The Auckland-based company launched its own inquiry after being contacted by the regulator, and took actions to rectify the issues, including a review and upgrade of its Fair Trading Act compliance training programme.
“In reaching the decision to settle, we took into account the fact that Vodafone put things right as soon as it became aware of the problems,” Commerce Commission consumer manager Stuart Wallace said. “The case highlights the potential problems with ‘opt-out’ sales promotions.”
The promotion gave Vodafone customers access to the internet for free over a three-month period, and customers would need to contact the phone company if they wanted to opt-out of the service.