News | 21 Dec 2021

How Vodafone is improving accessibility and fairness for customers

Vodafone is introducing a number of changes to make the way it communicates with customers fairer and more accessible.

Customers with disabilities, such as dyslexia or visual impairment, now have greater options when specifying how Vodafone should present information to them. For example, customers with dyslexia can ask for cream-coloured backgrounds for their written communications providing greater readability. Vodafone is also making changes to website, app and email communications.

These new changes apply to all forms of communication, except marketing materials.

From early 2022, key webpages will be compatible with screen readers and customers will be able to make their accessibility requests through the Vodafone website and My Vodafone app. TOBi, the company’s chatbot, will also provide the contact information for Vodafone’s dedicated accessibility team.

Some customers may be vulnerable and require additional support, whether that’s as a result of age, physical or mental health, financial difficulties or another issue. As part of the standard process, frontline colleagues are now flagging such vulnerabilities on customer accounts, so they can treat these customers more sensitively and empathetically.

Under the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), telecoms companies must ensure that customers are treated fairly and can switch easily between mobile, broadband, landline and pay TV suppliers. They also must ensure disabled customers have equivalent access to information and emergency communications.

As part of EECC implementation, media regulator Ofcom is introducing a number of additional measures over the next year or so, such as ensuring customers receive simpler, easier to follow information in addition to their standard contract information. They will also have the right to exit completely if the contract changes in a way that disadvantages them during the fixed period. Ofcom has also banned the sale of locked mobile phones. If customers already own a locked handset, they can request an unlock code free of charge.

Vodafone customers can already receive refunds on their pre-paid (Pay As You Go) phone balances if they switch provider, and from 17 December, this right has been applied to bundled products and services, too.

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