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Vodafone to correct billing error

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Vodafone’s woes in Australia continue, with the mobile carrier notifying customers that it will be implementing a “correction” to its billing system.

While users won’t get stung with retrospective charges, the change will see more usage counted against customers’ data caps. The changes apply to P2P apps, VoIP traffic, and “services that require a personal login” like Hotmail and Internet banking.

As one wag put it on Twitter, Vodafone has apparently discovered that its mobile broadband customers sometimes use traffic that traverses ports other than Port 80.

The carrier has warned customers that they may find their bills going up. “Based on your recent data usage, we believe that you may be affected by a higher than usual bill once this correction takes place”.

The new billing system will come into force on July 8.

Vodafone Australia has been plagued by a series of publicity disasters, with users tagging the carrier “Vodafail” for poor network performance, partners allegedly exposing customers’ personal information on store-front computers, and a class action lawsuit resulting from unlimited plans that turned out to generate more traffic than its network could handle.

As a result, the carrier has had to commit investment into new and upgraded base stations, at a time when its share of the Australian market has remained flat – and while it has been dealing with the management and operational challenges arising out of its merger with Hutchison Australia. ®

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