FutureFive NZ - Vodafone handed second fine

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Vodafone handed second fine

The second of six Fair Trading Act cases being brought against Vodafone by the Commerce Commission has resulted in a fine of almost $82,000.

The fine relates to a promotion run between 2006 and 2008, and follows a $400,000 fine imposed in August, for another promotion run around the same time.

The Commerce Commission had asked for a fine of $140,000 to $160,000, arguing the offending was reckless given the company was ‘on notice’ about other promotions.

However, Judge Anne Kiernan ruled the offending was merely careless and inadvertent.

The case relates to a ‘$1 per day’ mobile phone internet promotion. Customers were told they could pay $1 a day for a maximum allowance of 10MB, and that if they used less than $1 worth of data in any day they would only be charged for what they used.

This led some customers to believe the charge was proportional to the amount of data they used below 10MB, meaning if they used 1MB they expected to pay 10 cents. Customers in fact incurred the full $1 charge if they used as little as 204.8KB.

Vodafone will defend each the remaining four charges; the next, looking at a promotion offering $10 free airtime credit, will be heard later this week.

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