Several users of Vodafone have complained of the telco arbitrarily deducting Rs 99 from their accounts for international roaming charges on June 2.
The company sent an SMS to the users that read: "Dear Customer, this is to inform you that a rental amount of Rs.99 has been deducted towards International Roaming rental for 30 days."
Vodafone offers a Rs 99 package to make calls while international roaming is activated. However, most of the users who received the “deduction” message in the wee hours of June 2, did not avail of the applicable services under the package.
The telecom company is yet to officially respond to the complaints flooding on different social media channels, but the official Twitter handle of Vodafone replied to one of the plaintiffs and wrote:
Meanwhile, some Vodafone users took to question and answer platform Quora to discuss the message they received from the company.
One Quora user going by the name Loren Eva wrote: "I did everything I could to deactivate the international roaming service for which Vodafone deducted Rs 99 from my balance. But every time I opened the Vodafone application or called 199 to check my 'active plans', it said 'there are no active plans on your number'."
An old Quora response from a Vodafone trainee named Shreya Nair to a similar complaint raised in December 2018 also, read: "In prepaid connections, international roaming is pre-activated at the rate of Rs 99 per month. If a person doesn't use the connection to make calls, send text messages, or receive incoming calls, the amount does not get deducted."
Later that evening, Vodafone sent out another message to all its prepaid users saying they had "erroneously charged Rs 99" and that the amount has been credited back to the source accounts.
A screengrab of the apology message sent out by Vodafone later on June 3
The telco also released an official statement on June 2, which read: "Due to a technical issue, a few customers received a message about an erroneous charge. The same has been corrected and appropriate credit is done for the impacted customers. We are fully committed to best in class service to all our customers and regret the inconvenience."