Vodafone says seemingly lost internet bill payments will be credited to customer accounts and no penalties will be charged.
Vodafone New Zealand is in the process of switching over to a new billing system, but this is not proving a smooth process. Last week some customers paying mobile bills over the internet found their payments were not registering against their mobile phone accounts.
Vodafone helpdesk staff told customers this was because they were using their mobile phone number as a reference point, rather than their account number. The old billing system was able to accept these and the new one will too, says external communications manager Paul Brislen.
“Customers will still be able to use their mobile number as part of the billing reference, but we would like more information rather than less. We would like customers to provide an account number, account holder name and mobile number if possible, to act as a form of triple-factor authentication,” he says.
Brislen acknowledges the company has had some issues with the launch of its new system.
“As you’d expect with a project of this size, there are always teething problems and we are working on fixes with the highest priority.
“The first point to note is that no money has been lost and customers can rest assured that we will be [crediting] … payments to their accounts and they won’t be penalised in any way,” he says.
Brislen says the number of customers affected by the internet banking glitch is relatively low — up to 700 identified from a base of 2.3 million customers.
He says staff are learning how to use the new system, including “a whole new way of processing information which, in the long run, will be faster, but, in the short term, is a steep learning curve”.
Brislen says there are also issues to do with customers providing limited information when paying their bills.
“Listing the payment as ‘Vodafone’, for example, helps them identify the payment they’ve made on their account, but for enquiries to the contact centre it’s more helpful to include more information rather than less. The more information the customer service rep has the easier it is to find the right account information and help the customer in a timely fashion,” he says.
Vodafone’s much-delayed and over-budget new billing system was officially introduced last month. The company warned customers of possible glitches during the cut-over period.