Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Angry Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    Ok, I'm a bit confused if I have to pay orangeicon or not. Here's my case:

    My £35/month, 18-month mobile contract with orangeicon ended on 06/05/2008. I followed the 30-day rule notification to them and I was advised that my mobile connection to their network would end 6th of May 2008. And my mobile connection was indeed cut off on that day. Below is the chronology of what happened:

    04/04/2008 - I notified Orange to end my 18-month mobile contract.

    04/04/2008 - Orange VP for Customer Service sent me a letter, convincing me to stay with Orange and look at the latest Orange offerings which might fit my call/text lifestyle. That letter also included an explanation of the billing charging system - "Your service plan is currently billed one month in advance. If there's any credit on your account, this will appear in your bill after disconnection and will of course be refunded"

    05/04/2008 - £46.15 bill was sent to me. I assume this was my last bill because the charging is done one month advance. It's not an itemized bill and I didn't care to check it on my account online for details because because of the advance charging. Just to clarify, my Orange mobile have almost no use to me since July 2007. Story about this I posted in this thread ---> (http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ml#post1031958). That £46.15 bill was £10 more than my usual £35 bill. Still, I didn't bother to check online because of the promise of refund.

    21/04/2008 - That £46.15 bill was paid through auto debit from my bank account.

    05/05/2008 - £53.39 bill was again issued to me with payment slip/bank giro credit attached.

    10/05/2008 - I tried to access my online account to check the details of this amount but I found out that my account was already blocked using my password. Orange website was telling that I can only access my account by using the new password which they can send to my mobile. WTF?! My mobile number with Orange was already dead since 6th of May. How can they do that to me?! I've used BT accounts for 3 landline numbers already and I can still access my old accounts for my old home tel numbers. Why can't Orange do this?! They don't want me to see the details of what they are asking me to pay?

    19/05/2008 - I stopped any Orange auto debit from my bank account.

    25/05/2008 - Orange sent me a letter for the unpaid 'balance' and asking me to pay (£53.39) within seven days.

    29/05/2008 - I contacted Orange customer service and my call was forwarded to Collection Department. The lady whom I spoke with told me that I was overcharged by Orange for about £34 in total for the last four months. So I asked why did they sent me another bill (£53.39) if I was overcharged by £34? She explained that because my mobile account was cut off a day before the last bill (£53.39) was issued, there was no way they could change it. She then asked me to pay the £53.39 immediately to avoid further action from their collection department and she promised that the £53.39 + £34 overcharging will be refunded to me this month of June.

    So...should I pay Orange the £53.39 they are asking me to pay? If I don't pay, will Orange still refund me the £34 that they over charged me? I'm a bit hesitant to pay Orange more because I'm not sure if Orange will refund me and for how long. I don't have the details of that £53.39 because Orange already cut me off from accessing my online account and Orange can probably get away in not refunding me including the £53.39 if I pay them. Any advise? Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    I was a customer with orangeicon from 1998 until April this year, had a great service from them, 3 phones on the account no problems what so ever, until November 2007... Problems were still not resolved when I finally disconnected, I was even invited to a meeting to try and get the problems resolved in person, which I attended and lots of promises made but none kept.

    Basically was sent a bill for thousands and thousands this was due to a billing error which orangeicon fully admitted, but of course I never paid it, so Orange suspended outgoing service for none payment, Customer Service would remove the suspension, and no sooner it would be placed on again automatically.

    Now after I have finally moved our 3 phones to another network, Orange have finally pulled the finger out and managed to sent a correct bill, which needless to say I will not be paying. Orange have been informed that it won't be paid, yet still chase me for it, even though I have a personally signed letter from Sanjiv Ahuja (Orange CEO) telling me the bill will be wrote off, Orange still sent it to a DCAicon.

    Oh the joys of dealing with these people

    Thanks
    - Hobbie

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Under no circumstances should you speak with a Debt Collections Agency via telephone, request that all future correspondence is done in writing, a letter template for this can be located here.

    Any views expressed are solely that of my own, any advice or information offered is provided in genuine good faith, and should be checked prior to acting upon.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    Hobbie, thank you very much for the quick reply. Your story definitely cleared everything. I won't pay orangeicon for the £53.39 they are asking me to pay. I would rather prefer to receive thousands of bills from them than having a hard time getting a refund for £34 overcharge + £53.39 overpaymenticon. Thanks again. Cheers!

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  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Thurgo Novitiate

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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    hello all, new here but had to post when i saw the difficulties with orangeicon - I had similar ones, dont owe them anything and have today had a letter from a debt collectionicon agency - orange have agreed that I dont owe them anything and will refund the money. I cant tell you how angry I am as I spent £16 on premium rate calls, and had no internet connection for a couple of months, which they promised to reimburse but of course havent. I also couldnt get the MAC code out of them to transfer to another provider - now with BT and no problems, no premium rate numbericon to call to speak to them and they are very nice when you do speak to them - that clinched it for me and Im happy with BT now.

    I would like to now what I need to do to make sure this doesnt affect my credit rating - they have agreed that I dont owe them anything and promised to refund the money - though we'll see what happens!


    I also want to share a freephone number to contact Orange Customer services 0800 0791050 - found this on the internet but it works and will enable us to contact them without lining their pockets further!

    Thurgo


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    I’d just leave it and let the bailiffs come, if there stupid enough to send round bailiffs to collect money you don’t owe then just show them any evidence you have that in fact you’ve overpaidicon orange then the bailiff who should have a direct line to these A-Holes from orangeicon who say your indebt should be able to sort it out there and then with a simple phone callicon.
    Remember your innocent so you wont have to pay nothing, not even bailiff visits so don’t let them scare you with bailiffs it’s the oldest trick in the book, orange obviously know you’ve overpaidicon them but choose to let you have to deal with it by making you ask for your money back rather then them dealing with it them self’s


    However if in the unlikely event this ever goes to court then just plead your case, once a judge has the once over from it your gonna win hands down no worries but I very much doubt it will go that far cos soon as they start court proceedings they or their people will go through all the records in an attempt at building a case against you only to find they in fact actually owe you and nobody is silly enough to go to court when their certain to lose…:grin: remember its them who have to prove you guilty and they cannot.

    I did exactly the same thing with a catalogue bill that was sent to me despite me sending the product back months earlier. It worked for me never even went to the bailiffs… Hope this helps:grin:

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    listen people
    i know you are out raged and have bee done
    but

    for such a small ammount of money in comparrison would it not be better to pay and then get it back thirty days later.
    the last thing you need is a default on your credit files.
    i to had an orangeicon account for about four years and they messed up big time. left hand not knowing what the rights doing.
    i refused to pay, even though they said i would get it back in thirty days.
    the resault was a default which took me six months to get removed.
    is it realy worth the crap of a default for the sake of a month.


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder Mark_Blackpool Novitiate

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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    Slightly OT but related to the last post: I quite often see suggestions that people should pay money they don't owe "so they don't get a default on their credit history"

    In instances like this there is no default. The OP has finished dealing with orangeicon. If Equifax or Experian show a default for that account and you write to them to point out it's incorrect, and they refuse to remove it:

    Who are CRAs accountable to? Is this simply defamation of character with both the CRA and the original contract party jointly liable? Is only the CRA liable? Does sending a notice of intent to sue for defamation of character result in the CRA removing the alleged default to be on the safe side?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    i know what you are saying but many people have had defaults on this forum for debts as far as they were concearned were settled.
    most defaults are done automatic with very little manual intervention.
    and many people will tell you getting a default removed is a real pain in the butt.
    you will end up going back and forth from the creditor to the DCAicon, and all the time the default remains on your credit file.
    nobody wants to take the decision to remove the default.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    I'd agree with postggj. Pay up, then start the small claimsicon procedure to get it back. You'll be without the money for about a month whilst you claim it back (along with any costs and fee's), whereas a default could stay on your credit file for a lot longer!

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  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Dave123456 Novitiate

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    Talking Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by postggj View Post
    listen people
    i know you are out raged and have bee done
    but

    for such a small ammount of money in comparrison would it not be better to pay and then get it back thirty days later.
    the last thing you need is a default on your credit files.
    i to had an orangeicon account for about four years and they messed up big time. left hand not knowing what the rights doing.
    i refused to pay, even though they said i would get it back in thirty days.
    the resault was a default which took me six months to get removed.
    is it realy worth the crap of a default for the sake of a month.

    with the greatest of respect to yourself ..if everyone did what you are suggesting there would be bills for this that and the other because no one would complain and companies would walk all over people who are not able to or even willing to fight their corner..I can promise everyone on this forum...fight them at their own game..the county courts are there for you just as much as they are for the big rip of merchants companies..The last thing that big companies want is bad press and for them to drag people through expensive litigation when they know they are in the wrong would be commercial suicide..fight em herd and with all your might because as individuals we are just little people to them but if everyone fought them they would have to improve their services and make sure that they do not overcharge us and that the bill you recieve is correct and due!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave123456 View Post
    with the greatest of respect to yourself ..if everyone did what you are suggesting there would be bills for this that and the other because no one would complain and companies would walk all over people who are not able to or even willing to fight their corner..I can promise everyone on this forum...fight them at their own game..the county courts are there for you just as much as they are for the big rip of merchants companies..The last thing that big companies want is bad press and for them to drag people through expensive litigation when they know they are in the wrong would be commercial suicide..fight em herd and with all your might because as individuals we are just little people to them but if everyone fought them they would have to improve their services and make sure that they do not overcharge us and that the bill you recieve is correct and due!
    I think you miss the point postggj was making. If you pay up then get the money back from them 30 days later, it's a lot less hastle than not paying up and getting a default on your credit file and having to fight tooth over nail to get that removed. He was not saying pay them and let them have your hard earned cash, never to be seen again. I know handing over money knowing you'll be requesting it back or taking them to small claimsicon may sound backwards, but in the courts you will always seem to be the reasonable one and the company will always look like a bully providing you give the company enough notice and keep them informed of what you are doing or intend to do.

    Write them a cheque for the cash, put it in an envelope with a letter saying "I do not feel I owe this, so unless you can prove it I will be requesting this back, via small claims court if necesarry" then send an LBA 7 days later, then take them to court 14 days after that. Within a month you have the cash back more than likely, credit rating in tact, and you'll be in controll the whole time.

    To sum it up, if its a small amount, I'd rather the company owe me and have me thretening them than vice versa.

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  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder Dave123456 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    hi there locutus I understand fully what was being said but while ever you are paying incorrect bills and bowing down and paying what you know you don`t owe the company they will never improve their services and just keep making a mess of your account..

    ""i refused to pay, even though they said i would get it back in thirty days.""Quote postggj.

    If that was the case you are being harrassed for money they already know you don`t owe them, and in fact they are asking you to do their jobs for them by making it easier for them to clear up a mess of their making!
    could this not be construed as demanding money with menaces? if I did it in the street I would be arrested as doing such! just because they are big companies does`nt give them the right to bully people into parting with money they know is`nt owed to them.

    easier is`nt always the way to go. as a often quoted proverb says "the right path is`nt always the easiest!"

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  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder Dave123456 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    don`t worry about bailiffs.they are only doing their job!

    A visit to your home by bailiffs is a frightening prospect for anybody, but, in this event, you do have legal rights. You don't have to let bailiffs into your house on their first visit. They can't force their way in, though if you have left a window or door unlocked, they are within their rights to enter your home in this way. A bailiff must also show you a warrant from the county courticon relating to the debt.
    In certain circumstances, bailiffs can legally use force to enter your home. If, on their first visit, you grant them admittance in what the industry calls "peaceful" circumstances - usually to work out a repayment planicon or to identify goods that could be sold to raise cash - it's in your interesticon to let them enter in the same way when they return. If you change your mind and decide not to pay, they have the right to break into your house and remove items, in what is known as a "walking possession agreement".
    There are certain items they cannot touch: anything you use for work is off limits, as are your basic living requirements, such as a bed or oven.
    It's important to distinguish between bailiffs and debt collectorsicon. Many creditors use debt-collection companies, but their agents have no immediate legal powers to enter your home or take goods; they need a court order to use bailiffs.


    I really hope that this post allays some fears for some people.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Orange last phone bill: to pay or not to pay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave123456 View Post
    easier is`nt always the way to go. as a often quoted proverb says "the right path is`nt always the easiest!"
    Don't over complicate it, and keep the power in your hands. Paying up then forcefully chasing them for what they owe you involves no risk of defaults that if placed by them in error are still difficult to remove, and in this economic climate can cost a fortune in extra interesticon on any loans or credit cards.

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