Vodafone Charging GPRS Data When Using Wi-Fi On Unlocked iPhone?

iphone vodafone2.jpgReader Dan just dropped us a tip that Vodafone seem to be hitting customers who use their unlocked iPhone’s Wi-Fi with GPRS data charges:

Just spent ages on the phone to Vodafone because I thought by bill was too high ($88 data over my $500 credit limit on $79 cap). After much too-and-fro and them being adamant that the bill was correct i asked for the supervisor because i wanted them to reduce my data charges. I was also convinced that I had never used gprs for between 45-90 mins, let alone 15 times in a month.

The operator then came back and said “what phone are you using?”. I told her iPhone and she followed up with “do you use wifi at home?”. I said yes and straight up she said “ok i’m going to credit you back $88”. I was stunned and asked why and she said she had spoken to data services and apparently the iPhone using Wi-Fi is recognised as using gprs by their network. I asked if this was a recognised issue that other users have experienced, and she dodged the question. I asked if other iphone owners had reported the same problem, and she replied that “she had no information on the iphone”.

Their answer to the problem was to disable gprs on my account. I said I’ll work it out myself and if i want it disabled i’ll call back.Back to switching ‘edge’ on and off with BossPrefs.

I’ve put the question through to Vodafone as to whether this is an isolated occurrence or an ongoing problem for unlocked iPhones on Vodafone, but has anybody else out there experienced this? And is there anybody out there who can explain how this could even happen? I would imagine that Vodafone wouldn’t have a clue when the iPhone connected to Wi-Fi, but I’m not one of engineering types…