Vodafone admits to 'annoying' unsolicited marketing call

Vodafone Admits To 'Annoying' Unsolicited Marketing Call Vodafone Admits To 'Annoying' Unsolicited Marketing Call
An offence under electronic communications privacy and electronic communications regulations can result in a €5,000 fine and a recorded court conviction. Photo: PA Images
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Tom Tuite

Vodafone must donate €500 to charity to avoid a court conviction for a "human error" that led to a customer getting an unwanted and "annoying" marketing call.

The Data Protection Commission prosecuted the telecom giant at Dublin District Court.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching electronic communications privacy and electronic communications regulations, an offence that can result in a €5,000 per offence and a recorded court conviction.

Assistant Data Protection Commissioner Antoinette Gavin told Judge Anthony Halpin that in July 2021, the woman received an "unsolicited" marketing phone call offering a new fibre broadband package.

She has been a customer since 2018 and had already "opted out" from being contacted for marketing purposes.

Judge Halpin heard that "human error" led to the mistake.

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Vodafone had implemented changes, paid the prosecution expenses, and the company co-operated with the Data Protection Commission. The defence asked the court to note the company took privacy obligations very seriously.


Vodafone has five prior convictions.

Judge Halpin noted the woman had opted out and said it had been annoying for her. However, he accepted Vodafone's explanation and said the case was "at the lower end of the scale".

He said he would apply the Probation of Offenders Act if Vodafone gave the €500 to the Little Flower Penny Dinner Charity to help underprivileged people in Dublin city centre’s Liberties area. The case was adjourned until July 25th.

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