BUDAPEST. MARCH 12. INTERFAX CENTRAL EUROPE - Hungary's National Telecommunications Authority (NHH) has fined Vodafone Hungary Zrt, the local unit of the UK-based mobile operator, a total of HUF 20 mln (EUR 80,000) for unlawfully limiting its services to clients and for failing to address users' grievances adequately, NHH announced Monday.
"NHH fined Vodafone HUF 14 mln for limiting some of its users' access to services unlawfully, and a further HUF 6 mln for violating the rules on handling consumer complaints," said the authority in a statement.
NHH said that, during the past year, several clients complained that Vodafone had limited their ability to make calls without any prior notice, although they continued to be able to receive calls.
The NHH found that Vodafone was invoking an "opaque, subjective" clause in its contract terms which allowed it to limit services if the arrears of a user exceeded a certain amount. It therefore mandated Vodafone to review its contract terms and make the clause clearer and more transparent.
In addition, Vodafone also failed to adhere to the rules governing the handling of customer complaints, as it informed users that it is looking into their grievances only after a significant delay.
The NHH noted that the HUF 20 mln is just 10% of the maximum it could have levied on Vodafone by law.