The issue mainly affects those buying from the firm's online brand Mobiles.co.uk, although shoppers buying from other mobile retailers may also be affected.
Vodafone says the problem affected about 5 per cent of these sales but we're awaiting confirmation of what this means in terms of numbers.
But it's a double blow for shoppers as they've missed out on Black Friday bargains and are worried about their credit score being dented by a rejected application.
Vodafone says it will honour deals, although you do need to get in touch with the retailer you were buying from if you still want to take up the contract – it won't automatically re-check customers who've been rejected.
The mobile network says it won't need to re-credit check customers a second time, and adds that the rejection won't have affected your score as long as only one application was made.
Credit reference agency Experian explains that rejections aren't noted on your credit file, but what will affect your score, is multiple applications within a short time frame.
Of course, if you think any of the information held on your credit reference file is wrong, you can write to the credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and Noddle – and ask for it to be changed.
Carphone Warehouse said: “If a customer thinks they’ve received multiple credit checks, they can send their details to [email protected] We will then investigate and request removal of any erroneous marks related to this.”
One shopper wrote on Twitter: "So many people have “failed” your credit checks, and now I’ve missed out on other Black Friday deals as I thought I was going to receive a new phone due to the contact I’d just bought.
"Are you really offering your customers NO help? Appalling"
Another tweeted: "@VodafoneUK @CPWTweets I was one of the customers that was wrongly refused the XR deal last Saturday. My credit rating is 999 on Experian and not a single blemish.
"I understand you had problems, will you honour the deal now? I have proof if needed."
Many shoppers are worried about the impact the rejection will have on their credit score.
One complained on Twitter: "VERY disappointed with lies told regards my husband and my credit rating. BE decent, honour the Black Friday deal.
"Don't put people under unnecessary stress regards falsely advising people of poor credit rating."
Boost your credit score
- Check your credit report and making sure all the information is accurate and up to date and fix any mistakes
- Get on the electoral roll
- Make sure your name is on all your bills
- Make loan and other repayment in full and on time
- When looking for credit, use tools that "soft search" your file rather than damaging your score with a "hard search"
- Don't make too many credit applications in one go.
Another wrote: "@VodafoneUK just had a credit check declined by you via Carphone Warehouse. Just checked with Experian and great credit rating and no reason to decline.
"Who do I speak to to explain why my credit was declined? Need contact ASAP"
Someone else had a similar story: "Black Friday Deal @CPWTweets rejected due to apparently failing a credit check with @VodafoneUK. Strange as have an excellent credit rating. @CPWTweets and @VodafoneUK sort this mess out!"
A spokesperson for Vodafone said: "Due to the huge volume of interest in our Black Friday deals, the system dealing with credit applications from some of our in-direct partners experienced an issue for a short period of time.
"This meant that a small number of applications were declined incorrectly. The system is now back up and running properly and these applications can be re-checked.
"We are working with our retail partners to process any outstanding orders as quickly as possible. These customers will still be able to take advantage of our Black Friday offers.
"Any allegation that we are deliberately failing customer credit checks in relation to this offer is wholly untrue. All customers, regardless of the offer, are subject to a credit check.
"This is standard retail practice. There has been no change to our policy before and after this offer and the vast majority of orders have gone through.
"The offer has attracted huge demand, and together with our retail partners, we are processing any outstanding orders as quickly as we can.
"We are happy to review the application of anyone who was initially declined via one of our indirect partners. Customers should contact the partner with whom they made the initial application. This will not affect their credit rating."
A spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse said: “Due to an incredibly high take up of our very competitive Black Friday deals with Vodafone, there is a backlog processing credit checks.
"We’re working with Vodafone to resolve this and the backlog is expected to be cleared by the end of the week. Vodafone has told us it will honour the deals for those customers who ultimately pass the credit checks.
“We’re working as quickly as possible to help customers who can also contact us at [email protected]"
Carphone Warehouse had a number of strong Samsung and iPhone deals on Black Friday.
But the news has come at a bad time for Vodafone, which only launched its new loyalty scheme – that gives you deals and discounts at Costa, Odeon and Tesco – yesterday.
The Vodafone network went down last month leaving customers unable to make calls.
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