Law firm Piper Alderman has announced plans to proceed with a class action against Vodafone within three months.
The litigation was first threatened in 2010.
The action is on behalf of Vodafone customers experiencing calls dropping out, reception issues, weak data and internet performance and poor customer service in 2010 and 2011.
Sasha Ivantsoff, the partner leading the action for Piper Alderman, said no single claim against Vodafone is big enough to warrant its own legal action so the law firm, along with LCM Litigation Fund, will group thousands of small claims together in one action.
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“We believe consumers have overpaid for services that were not provided, or were misled into signing contracts with Vodafone when there was no mobile coverage in their area,” said Ivantsoff in a statement.
The law firm claims Vodafone customers were unable to make or receive calls in areas that should have coverage, such as metropolitan airports and the CBD.
Since announcing its intention to build the class action in December 2010, Piper Alderman has received more than 23,000 registrations of interest to participate from Vodafone contract holders.
Piper Alderman has not increased the number of participants in its class action claim in two years but is canvassing for further participants over the next three months.
The claim will focus on claims of misleading and deceptive conduct and other breaches of the Australian Consumer Law by Vodafone.
The legal action comes more than a year after Vodafone said it was working hard to improve its service and follows a damning report outlining more than 12,000 complaints against the telco ranging from patchy network coverage to poor customer service.
Karina Keisler, spokesperson for Vodafone, says the telco has been left in the dark about the class action.
“That firm has not contacted Vodafone directly about this since it first threatened action in 2010, nor has it sought to discuss the claims of any customers it represents in the class action with Vodafone,” she says.
“Vodafone has not been provided with any details of the class action at this stage and is therefore not able to comment on the claims which might be made.
“Vodafone would like to hear from any customer who has encountered difficulties with the network and we encourage customers, past and current, to contact us directly so that we can discuss ways to resolve any concerns they have,” Keisler says.
This article first appeared on LeadingCompany’s sister publication, SmartCompany.