6 Dec, 2010 @ 09:00
1 min read

Vodafone dongle dupe

EXCLUSIVE by Anatoly Kurmanaev

A BRITISH man is waiting for an apology – and his money back – after being ripped off by nearly 600 euros by Vodafone.

Fred Adams, 66, could not believe what was happening when the British company overcharged him by over 100
euros a month for SIX months for his internet connection.

Despite constant calls and journeys to his nearest shop to complain, the company refused to reimburse the money.

Emails sent to Vodafone and the Spanish government’s telecoms watchdog were also not answered.

“It took a month for them to even acknowledge they had received my email and I have heard nothing else since,” he told the Olive Press.

“The Vodafone shop didn’t want to know me as I hadn’t taken the contract out in their shop,” he added. “And meanwhile I am 600 euros out of pocket.”

The saga began in April when Fred signed a long-term contract with Vodafone through a third party phone shop in Coin.

The deal promised to bring WiFi Internet connection to his remote finca.

Using a device known as a ‘dongle’ he could pick up his emails and search the net.

But intead of the 46 euros agreed in the deal, Vodafone took 145 euros from his account in May.

And then things got worse. In August, for example, Vodafone took 233 euros from his account, nearly five times the agreed amount.

Indeed, it wasn’t until October – six months later – that the company finally took the correct payment.

But instead of providing Fred with an explanation, apologizing and refunding the money, they merely sent him a credit note to make up the lost 600 euros.

It was to be used against future calls with the company, explained Fred.

“It will take me 13 months to get my money back. I am furious and frustrated.”

To make things worse, Vodafone has been having problems with its internet service. “Half of the time I can’t get a connection,” said Fred.

A spokeswoman for Vodafone told the Olive Press she could not comment on individual clients. “Sorry that’s our policy,” she said.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Absolutely agree with the other Fred in this article. Vodafone are the worst Internet provider in existence. I terminated my account and launched legal proceedings against them a couple of years ago when they overcharged me in the same way. When dealing with them they lied, obfuscated, denied talking to me, lost faxes, passed me to seven different people, and continually lied about my case details.

    Avoid Vodafone – they are scammers on a par with Telefonica.

  2. You can claim back any payment made from your spanish bank account within a period of time, 30days I think is the time scale, once the disputed payment is refunded you can then ask the bank to refuse further payments to that company… of course the vodaphone account would have been cut off but it would have saved 600€ !!

  3. All well and good Lesley but if you are abroad working you can easily miss such a payment on your bank statement. Luckily, there is a much simple answer to all of this. AVOID VODAFONE!

  4. I am the person mentioned in the article.

    As a result of the help from The Olive Press and Anotoly I have just received the money owed into my bank account.

    I would like to express my thanks to The Olive Press for their help, it wouldn’t have happened without it.

    No apolgy from Vodafone of course but hey, I am 600 Euro better off in my bank account.

    Once again, many thanks to an excellent newspaper.

  5. @Lesley Alexander

    The problem with your suggestion is that I had signed a legally binding 18 month contract with Vodafone which obliged me to pay a total of 826 Euro to them over the 18 months, even if I cancelled.

    I have no problem with the contract as I received a free dongle and a WiFi base as part of it.

    However if I had stopped my payents I would have had no service and a legal obligation to pay them. It was the typical rock and a hard place scenario.

  6. i had a 24 month contract with vodafone wich ended in december last year i paid 30 pounds a month until november when my statement came in for 135 pounds for the month i thort that they had made a mistake as i had not used the internet any more than usual and my billing guide showed i was within my limit i canceled my direct debit and contacted vodafone who advised me i had gone over my limit and a week or so later suspended my account they then sent me a bill for the following month for 190 pounds i told them i would not pay this and this month they still sent me my monthly bill for 30 pounds even though they had suspended my account and my contract had ended in december seems vodafone just wanted to make a quick proffit by trying to con me

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