Vodafone error hits up old and prospective customers for money

Former Vodafone customers, and some people who were never customers, have experienced bill shock of a different kind.

A number of former customers of Vodafone, along with some that have never been with the telco before, received a nasty surprise in their inbox after the company erroneously sent out an email informing them that they were going to be billed for services they didn't have.

Vodafone had intended to send out the email to a small number of customers to inform them they were going to be charged certain fees on their next bill after the telco accidentally omitted them in the previous billing cycle. It was intended to be a nice gesture to ensure customers wouldn't be surprised when they saw the fees back on their next bill, and to also tell them they would not be double charged.

"We had not charged those customers because of a system error where they may have gone overseas and activated or deactivated global roaming, which impacted the ability for our systems to acknowledge and apply those charge," a Vodafone spokesperson told ZDNet.

But due to an internal mix-up, the email was sent to people that had opted into a marketing list containing the contact details of individuals that had indicated they wanted to receive more information about Vodafone. The list included former customers of the telco, along with people that had never been customers before.

According to the Vodafone spokesperson, the company has since sent out a follow-up email to apologise for the incident. The number of people that were affected was not disclosed.