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Vodafone NZ fined NZ$165,000 for Red Essentials plan pricing error | ZDNet

Vodafone NZ has been fined NZ$165,000 for providing misleading information to its customers on its “Red Essentials” mobile phone plan, and overcharging them by a combined NZ$92,000.

The fine, handed down by the Auckland District Court, came as a result of the New Zealand Commerce Commission (ComCom) filing charges in May for Vodafone’s breach of the Fair Trading Act.

Specifically, Vodafone NZ had reduced its Red Essentials plan from NZ$79 per month down to NZ$69 in January 2014, but its billing system continued charging customers who signed up for the duration of 2014 NZ$79.

As a result, misleading invoices were sent to around 15,000 customers, overcharging most of them by slightly under NZ$1 per week.

Vodafone has since refunded these amounts to all affected customers.

“It is vital that businesses invest in making sure they have strong compliance processes that can support these types of promotional offers, particularly when selling products to a significant customer base,” Commissioner Anna Rawlings said.

“Consumers rely on companies to invoice and debit them accurately, as many do not check the finer details. Overcharging a large number of customers a small amount can result in firms receiving large sums of money they are not entitled to, so they need to be vigilant to avoid misleading consumers and breaching the Act.”

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Vodafone NZ fined NZ$165,000 for Red Essentials plan pricing error | ZDNet.

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