A Frankfurt Vodafone customer paid 15,000 euros too much in recent years. Fraud is now being investigated. The company meanwhile operates an ostrich policy.
Frankfurt – The fraud involving Vodafone’s sales partners also has victims in the Rhine-Main area. A Frankfurt businessman reports from FR that he has been charged more than 16,000 euros in telephone costs over the past few years. Last summer it was public that a Vodafone advisor in Bremen had foisted a contract on an older customer for her older cat. In mid-September, Vodafone went on the offensive and reported that it had filed 15 criminal charges itself, had separated from ten partner companies and had closed 57 shops. It remained unclear where the machinations had taken place. We were talking about a specific sales region.
Dieter de Haas had read the FR article under the heading “Vodafone cleans up”. “That sounded familiar to me,” de Haas reported to the FR. The 77-year-old has a shop in Bockenheim and has had a Vodafone contract since 2003. This originally provided for monthly mobile phone costs of just under 76 euros. At de Haas, a tax advisor takes care of the overview of direct debits and the accounting itself. He sounded the alarm at the end of 2020 and said what was going on. “He said it can’t be that we have monthly telephone costs of 1,500 euros,” said de Haas.
Telephone costs at Vodafone: situation confusing for lawyer
The businessman hired lawyer Marcus Müller-Dahlem to investigate the matter. “The situation was extremely confusing for us,” said Müller-Dahlem. As it turned out, the mobile phone costs at Vodafone had gradually increased for his client. In his research, Müller-Dahlem concentrated on the non-statute-barred period from 2016. The mobile phone costs were already just under 300 euros per month, and at the end of 2017 they were well over 300 euros. In 2020, there was another significant increase to 500 to 674 euros per month, which culminated in costs of 900 euros in December 2020 – with an original contract volume of just under 76 euros. “Since January 2016 alone, more than 16,600 euros have been unjustifiably charged,” said lawyer Müller-Dahlem.
De Haas initially paused in his own Vodafone shop on Leipziger Strasse in Bockenheim. The shop operator at the time tried to appease. Vodafone itself seems completely clueless and, in response to the complaint, presents ten contracts that de Haas is said to have signed. “I’ve never done that,” asserts the long-standing customer. Apparently the shop operator at the time had signed the underlying contracts himself.
Vodafone customer from Frankfurt has a loss of 15,000 euros
According to the announcement in September, Vodafone said: “We have resolved discrepancies in direct dialogue with the affected customers identified by us.” Perhaps resolved, but not regulated. In the case of Mr de Haas, the company only paid off outstanding outstanding amounts of around 1700 euros. The bottom line was that the longtime sole Vodafone customer had lost almost 15,000 euros since 2016, which is why lawyer Müller-Dahlem filed a criminal complaint against the shop operator at the time in March 2021.
The public prosecutor merely confirmed the investigation; the police announced on request that there has so far only been one victim in the investigation. “I can hardly imagine that this is an isolated case,” says Müller-Dahlem. Only Vodafone itself is even more sparse than the investigative authorities. The Düsseldorf-based company operates a bird and ostrich policy and left a written request unanswered despite being asked. Telephone calls have only been announced since the first contact.
Dieter de Haas is still a Vodafone customer in the shop on Leipziger Strasse. There have been no more discrepancies recently, he says. (Oliver Teutsch)