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Vodafone to pay €400,000 penalty over roaming charges

ComReg said the mobile operator was breaking EU regulations on the charges it applied to its Irish customers.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

VODAFONE IRELAND HAS agreed to pay a €400,000 penalty after breaking EU regulations over roaming charges for mobile phone customers.

The company made the settlement in a High Court action against the communications regulator ComReg. Vodafone also agreed to pay the regulator’s legal costs.

ComReg found that Vodafone was breaching EU roaming regulations, which require mobile operators to cap customers’ spending at €50 unless they specifically opt out.

Vodafone has  committed to apply the cap to all customers by default, and also to provide clearer information about its customers’ right to move between different spending caps.

The company acknowledged that it was “not in compliance with ComReg’s interpretation of the European regulations”. However, it said it had applied the spending cap in accordance with the guidelines of the European Regulators’ Group.

“Vodafone has settled with the regulator in the interest of achieving clarity for our customers,” the operator’s director of strategy Paul Ryan said. “However, the company is disappointed with the regulator’s approach on this issue.”

He said the company had “repeatedly” sought guidance on the issue from ComReg over the last 18 months.

In a statement, Vodafone said: “Those customers on a higher default tariff are being notified from today and steps are being taken to ensure that Vodafone Ireland is fully compliant with all regulations.”

More: Making mobile calls when abroad now costs less>

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Michael Freeman

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