How we can help if you’re having financial difficulties

Landline, mobile phone and internet services are essential in today’s increasingly digital world (imagine looking for a new job without an internet connection, for example). As your telecommunication provider, we’ll send you a monthly bill for the service, or plan of services, that you buy from us.

How can we help you control your bills?

My Vodafone app

The My Vodafone app enables you to check your real-time spending, usage and balance, and top up easily – wherever you are. It also lets you compare your bill with the one you received the previous month. And if you have any questions or need some advice, you can check our FAQs or start a Live Chat with one of our advisers.

Data limits in the UK and abroad

Concerned about exceeding your data allowance and building up extra costs? Don’t worry – whether you’re using data in the UK or abroad, or you’re on your mobile, tablet or desktop computer, we can send you text alerts so you know how much data you’ve used. To opt in to this free service, log in to My Vodafone or call customer services on 191 (The call is free if you’re a Pay monthly or a Pay as you go customer).

Please note that we can’t accept responsibility for text alerts you don’t receive for any reason, or for how much data you use. To find out more, take a look at our terms and conditions

What happens if you can’t pay your bill in time?

As we’ve outlined in our Airtime Conditions, if you’re a Pay monthly customer and don’t pay your bill in time, we’ll ask you to pay for any outstanding charges within 7 days of the date of your bill. If you can’t pay your outstanding balance within a week, we may charge you an additional late payment fee.

If you owe us any money after your due date (and don’t have a valid reason for disputing this payment), we may charge you interest (charged daily at 2% above the base rate of Barclays Bank). You might also need to pay any administration costs that result from the late payment of your bill or your failure to pay it. If we still can’t recover the payment from you, we’ll engage a debt collection agency to collect this on our behalf. The agency will charge you a fee for doing this.

Finally, if you don’t pay your bill, we reserve the right to stop you making outgoing calls (except calls to the emergency services), and even to disconnect you. If we do disconnect you and you’d like to start a new agreement with us, you'd have to go through our credit-checking processes again.

Getting advice

If you’re struggling to pay your monthly bills, try to talk to us as soon as possible. We can then work with you to find a way to make these bills and debts affordable in your current circumstances. You can ask one of our customer services advisers about:

  • Paying the debt over time
  • Reducing your monthly payments to an affordable rate by starting a debt repayment plan
  • Changing your payment date or switching to Direct Debit
  • Selling your old mobile phone(s) for recycling
  • Details of debt advice agencies

Although we’re not obliged to offer you any of these services, we’ll help you explore the available options and share any relevant money advice with you.

If you want to contact us, just call 191 free from your Vodafone Pay monthly mobile or 03333 040 191 from any UK landline or mobile (standard call charges apply).

What can you do if you’re having difficulties managing your phone debt?

If you’re finding it hard to pay your phone bill in time, you might be able to reduce your expenses by speaking to one of our advisers. To make your bills more affordable, we’ll also consider restricting your access to some more costly services.

If you have a landline as well as a mobile phone, it might also be worth cancelling some of your service agreements (although do bear in mind any cancellation costs you might incur). Switching to Pay as you go may also make your phone costs more manageable.

What can you do if you’re having difficulties managing your data usage debt?

If you’ve spent a lot of time online and are struggling to pay your bills for data usage as a result, we might be able to arrange a payment plan if you get in touch with us. Please be aware, though, that if we set up a one of these plans you’ll still be liable for paying your current bills as well as your arrears.

You can also reduce your data usage expenses by:

  • Switching to Pay as you go, so you pay for your data upfront. You can get online with Mobile Wi-Fi or a data dongle – a small device that gives you wireless internet access over a mobile network
  • Accessing the internet at your local library (this is usually a free service)

What if your services are bundled?

You have ‘bundled’ services when you buy a group of telecommunication services (such as broadband and home phone, mobile phone and pay TV) from a single provider, and pay one single bill for them all.

Combining a number of services in a bundle might give you discounts and many other benefits compared with getting individual services from separate providers. These are applied alongside other savings – so when you buy a bundle of services, make sure you know what it does and doesn’t include so you can make the most of your money.

You should also remember that, if you bundle your communications services, you may incur extra costs if you change any part of it for an individual service – as the bundling discount will no longer apply.

What should you do if you have a dispute with your service provider?

If the charges for the following items on your bill seem too high, here’s what you can do:

Out-of-plan charges

If you don’t want to risk going over your allowance and having to pay more, opt in to our free text alerts to help you stay on top of your usage. To do this, just text ‘START’ to 40506 or call our customer services team on 191 free from your Vodafone Pay monthly mobile.

Premium-rate services

We understand that the huge growth in the market for premium-rate services could increase your phone costs. As it becomes faster and simpler to pay for these services in many different ways, it becomes easier to run up high bills unknowingly.

We can help you keep your bills under control. Just call our customer services team on 191 (The call is free if you’re a Pay monthly or a Pay as you go customer) and ask for:

  • A call bar to be added to your account, to calls being made to premium-rate numbers
  • A text message bar to be added, to stop premium rate text messages being sent
  • A ‘charge to bill’ bar to be added, to stop any premium-rate digital content and goods being bought using your account

If you don’t recognise some of the charges on your bill, please check with everyone else in your family if these charges are for services they’ve used. If they haven’t, please contact us to let us know which charges you want to dispute. We’ll be able to clarify any items on your bill or recalculate them.

If you’d like to make a formal complaint, you can:

  • Call our customer care team on 191 (The call is free if you’re a Pay monthly or a Pay as you go customer)
  • Chat online with one of our advisers, using Live Chat
  • Write a letter to Customer Relations Manager, Vodafone Limited, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2FN

Find out more about how to make a complaint

General advice on debt and managing money

Here are some sources of information on managing money and debt that you may find useful: