Feeds

Vodafone Ireland admits pocketing dormant PAYG cash

But hey, everybody's doing it

High performance access to file storage

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.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.