An extraordinarily painful process begins whereby they have to type in their credit card details on the new smartphone they just purchased, the one with the tiny keys they still haven’t figured out how to use properly. Frustration ensues, and the purchase doesn’t happen. Enter operator billing. Your phone has a SIM card inside, and you either pay a monthly bill or you’re a prepaid customer. Why not just charge the transaction to the company that you already have a financial relationship with? Vodafone, one of the largest operators on the face of this planet, used to enable operator billing in the Google Play Store in Western Europe, but for reasons that weren’t mentioned, they’ve decided to turn it off. Specifically in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. It’s likely a political move done because Vodafone wanted something that Google simply refused to give them, so they just cut the cord as a form of retaliation. Update: Check out this Vodafone blog post from August 2011 and try not to laugh.