Feeds

Vodafone Ireland admits pocketing dormant PAYG cash

But hey, everybody's doing it

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Vodafone Ireland has copped some flak for admitting plans to pocket credit left in dormant accounts, though it turns out that everyone else is already doing just that.

The change comes in Vodafone Ireland's terms and conditions, and the Irish Independent has quotes from various bodies saying it's "completely unacceptable", despite the fact that those who abandon pre-paid accounts are often untraceable and the rest of the world has been pocketing the difference for years.

Pre-paid mobile services not only opened up the industry to those who couldn't get credit, but also provided network operators with a slush fund on which they could gain interest, not to mention a trickle of income from those who forget they've topped up their credit and never used the service again.

A quick ring round of the UK operators reveals a general consensus that once an account has lain unused for six months (no chargeable calls, messages or data, incoming or outgoing) it can be disconnected*. Following that there's a period of another three months after which the account is cancelled** and the number reissued to someone else, and the operator takes any credit remaining on the account.

So it might seem reasonable for Vodafone Ireland to announce that it will be closing accounts after eight months of non-use, with the number being recycled after a further six months - but not according to the Chief executive of Ireland's Consumers' Association, who reckons: "It’s the closest thing to putting your hand in someone’s pocket and taking what’s there."

We can only assume that would be a pocket in a pair of jeans that's been lying unused at the side of the road for the best part of a year, in which case we'd probably feel justified in rifling the pockets ourselves.

Even if operators did want to return the money those customers are very difficult to track down - it's not as if they're going to pick up the telephone any time soon. ®

* Vodafone UK disconnects after three months, but for the next three months will reconnect instantly on request.

** O2 waits a year before cancelling the account.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.