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tornado alley

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About tornado alley

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  1. Thanks for your reply and time BankFodder! To answer your questions: Switch to business account from personal account was purely to simplify accounting, not any kind of tax avoidance. I run my own small business, so rather than being billed personally and recharging to the company, the payment could come straight from my company account. A Vodafone customer service / salesperson advised I needed to switch to a Business Account and couldn't just change my billing / Direct Debit details.. . maybe I was misguided by a hungry salesperson in that instance. Actual losses - impossible to quantify as bills never produced for several months while I was lost repeatedly in the Vodafine system. A subscription for Spotify has arrived on my bills at some point, but I have only three bills with this charge on at the end of my stay. Likewise the missing bills / statements would also reveal the number of hours I spent on the phone to customer services trying to rectify problems of their making. 2012 dispute - I'd almost forgotten about that! That was a separate case and a billing dispute after misinformation about data limits while roaming. Vodafone corrected & resolved this after my post on here (thank you CAG!) Thanks for the advice on SAR. I shall request this week to get things rolling. I'll also re-write my original post to shorten. Apologies for being too wordy!
  2. Hi everyone I'm hoping for some advice to resolve an ongoing issue with Vodafone. My next planned action is to write to Ofcom but I would appreciate any guidance as to the best approach. In short, I'm a former Vodafone customer, I recently discovered that they have trashed my credit rating without communicating with me. My attempts to resolve this have so far proved futile, despite contacting the Ombudsman. The background (and I'll try to keep this as brief as I can) is as follows. I had been a satisfied Vodafone personal customer under the same mobile number for approximately 20 years up until 2014. In June 2014 I made one VERY SIMPLE REQUEST - to be billed a business customer rather than a personal customer - to help with my company accounting. I was assured this would be an instant and seamless process. Immediately after this date countless things descended into chaos for months after, including: My number getting "lost" between different Vodafone platforms more than once (resulting in no service on multiple days) Call bars being placed on my account despite staff assurances that all account settings would be left the same (resulting in no service while abroad on work) Services being removed from my account without authorisation or communication (resulting in beneficial call packages being removed from my account even though the packages were available) Services being added to my account and charged to me without me requesting them or approving them Account details being mishandled multiple times, resulting in a range of inconveniences, from not having permission rights to speak to customer services about my own account(!), to receiving correspondence in a variety of erroneous name / company name / address formats… I even got the distinct impression I didn't actually exist either partially or completely in the Vodafone systems when I called to correct on multiple occasions Billing - perhaps most seriously, there were months when I received no bills and the online billing section showed no statements, yet money was being drawn from my account by Direct Debit each month Aside from the massive inconvenience of wasting hours of my life and work time over many months on the above and being given the run around and being let down by countless members of Vodafone staff (I have logged dates and names of many calls), the final straw came when I discovered I was being charged for unauthorised services when I was finally emailed three of the missing bills I'd been chasing for months. I'd given Vodafone numerous ultimatums to resolve outstanding issues and was given broken promises of resolutions each time. in January 2016 I ported my number out to another network and left Vodafone. Vodafone wrote to me in March giving me a Notice Of Default letter (I had stopped the Direct Debit they had been helping themselves to without billing me), claiming an outstanding balance of nearly £300 including charges for "cancellation prior to contract date". I replied with a detailed letter on all the above issues advising I was forced to leave due to the catalogue of disasters and erroneous billing, and that the unacceptable level of service and repeated failures to resolve amounted to breach of contract and that no cancellation charges were due. I requested a copy of all missing bills to I could calculate the erroneous charges taken from my account. My letter was acknowledged by Vodafone and a Case Reference given. That was the last I heard from Vodafone. I (rather naively) assumed they'd taken a look at the lengthy and detailed crime sheet against them and walked away from any attempt to claim early cancellation charges. And to be honest I was more than happy to get on with my life rather having wasted countless hours chasing them over recent months. The credit rating issue first came to my attention when applying to open new bank accounts for my business in August 2017. Needless to say I was furious to find out Vodafone had done this without any communication or justification. I was advised by the Ombudsman to send a final complaint email through the Vodafone website in an attempt to resolve which I duly did. Once again, no reply from Vodafone. My take on this is that Vodafone are acting in a completely unaccountable manner and have been vindictive in their placement of a bad credit mark against myself. Surely it's a basic legal requirement of a telecoms company to give statements to customers when taking Direct Debit amounts and to actually reply to customer complaints? I would love to throw the largest proverbial book in the direction of Vodafone for their conduct in the hope they clean up their act for other customers, and of course to clear my credit report ASAP. Any advice on the above would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
  3. Thanks dx100uk and uneverdid for the advice. I contacted Barclaycard a few days ago and hope / expect they will back me fully on this. Apparently it may take a month or so to resolve. Despite this I would still like to make a point of writing to Dell Head office. I think its shocking that they deliver sub standard product and customer service while trying to hold a customer to ransom, withholding funds and causing easily avoidable issues with my work life. Am I right in thinking that quoting the Sale Of Goods Act in my letter and also mentioning that I will be informing Trading Standards should be sufficient to get Dell to spring into some satisfactory action? Who knows, maybe a voluntarily return of my funds and an apology for starters. If the noise I create can make a small difference to how they treat future customers and / or forewarn potential customers of what they currently risk by purchasing from Dell, then my work here will be done!
  4. I'm having a nightmare with Dell who are refusing to refund on a laptop that was faulty on arrival. The purchase was an essential replacement to an outgoing (dead laptop) and I had to buy as a 'Business User' as the Win7 Pro OS was only available on the business part of their site. The Dell laptop arrived faulty straight out of the box upon first boot-up (Touchpad not working). To cut a long story short, the laptop is not fit for its intended purpose. I allowed a more than reasonable window of several days for Dell to try to remotely fix the laptop. Staff were slow, incorrect recovery discs had been shipped with the laptop, departments were clearly not communicating and dates and deadlines missed. No fix was found. With my work on stop being in laptop limbo, I put in a written (email) request for an immediate replacement unit to be shipped. This was ignored / not actioned. I then gave notice by email that if I couldn't be provided with an immediate replacement unit I would be forced to buy a working laptop from elsewhere and to claim a refund. More promises, more lack of action, and so I had to buy a new laptop to get my work life back on track 7 days after delivery. Amazingly I am now being told by Dell 'UK Sales Operations' having allegedly referred my case to the 'Quality and Legal Team': "As a business user, and in accordance with the terms above Dell is not in a position to take back system for refund." And quoting Section 9 Warranty of their Business T&Cs: euro.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/emea/topics/footer/terms?c=uk&l=en&cs=ukdhs1#privacy Surely me making this purchase as a 'Business User' (not out of choice, but out of necessity) doesn't mean that I'm not protected by the Sale Of Goods Act and able to claim a refund for goods that are clearly not fit for purpose? I now have absolutely no need for this faulty Dell laptop, or even a fully working Dell laptop. I had no option but to move forward with another laptop from another supplier. But I do need the near £700 refunded to my credit card! I'd like to add (in the hope that other potential customers take note) that Dell customer services have been absolutely diablolical to deal with from the start - all overseas staff with no accountablity, no power (or willingness) to action anything and shocking communication skills. I submitted a complaint through the Dell online complaints form which promises a reaction within 24 hours, and still nothing 36 hours on. I'm writing to Head Office next but would like to be sure I'm not hindered in any way by being a 'Business User'? Any advice gratefully received!
  5. I'm pleased to say that Lee from the Vodafone Web Team took the time to look thoroughly into the matter for me and has now adjusted my bill accordingly. Customer Service as it should be (and should have been first time I contacted Vodafone!).
  6. Hi Locutus Thanks for the reply. I will certainly make contact with Lee the Vodafone rep. However, I would also appreciate anyone indepenent who can offer some sound advice on where I stand with being advised my usage was 'X' and being billed for 'Y'. A couple of hours ago I had Vodafone call me about my Direct Debit cancellation. I'm pleased to say that the people I spoke to were far more understanding and co-operative than the guy I spoke to before. As such, I was offered a 20% reduction on my Data Charges for that period, which I requested was noted on my file while I considered their offer. They've also given me 14 days grace to put my case in writing to them. Although Vodafone's stance has softened, I still believe that as I was informed my usage each day amounted to around £171 for 19 days away, I should be billed exactly that, and not £500, or £500 less 20%... Any advice on the above would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
  7. I've been a happy Vodafone customer for years, but have just been stung by an outrageous £668 bill, most of which comes from data charges which I'm disputing from a recent trip to South Africa. Put simply, Vodafone informed me by text message on most days when I was using data that I'd used 3MB (£9) of data. Now they've billed me for anything up to 18MB (£50) data use on these days! To make matters worse, when I called Vodafone Customer services a few days ago when back in the UK, after a couple of first line support scratched their heads about the discrepancy, an abrasive, cocky second level support had the audacity to tell me that: 1) I did use the amount of data billed (I fail to see how I could have used 18MB on basic emails with no attachments) 2) That sending me a text saying I'd used 3MB and billing me for 18MB is not misleading(!) because: i) their log of data use is not in real time (well what's the point then in sending me old data with a current date & time stamp?!) ii) under their terms & conditions, they're not obliged to send me more than one data usage text per day 3) That if I stop my Direct Debit for this disputed bill to enter into further correspondence, my account will be suspended if payment is not taken on the due date, again saying its in the T&Cs. Naturally, I do wish to take this matter further, as I feel very strongly that I've not used the amount of data suggested, that I've been misled by innacurate information from Vodafone, and my reliance upon their messages to me had led me to believe my usage and expenditure was at most around £9 per day, when in actual fact it was much, much higher. As for the threat of suspending my phone if I don't blindly hand over nearly £700 without time for further discussion / investigation... well, if that's their appreciation of a loyal customer, then I'll be off pretty quick! I would really appreciate any guidance on how best to put Vodafone in their place on this. I certainly don't want my phone suspended, or a payment default against my name, but at the same time I won't be held to ransom in such unreasonable fashion. Some further relevant info below: I received the following idential text message on my data days while away: "40506: From Vodafone: Just to let you know, you've used over 3MB of data which has cost you £3 per MB so far. Once you use more than 5MB in a day, the charge becomes £15 incVAT for each 5MB. If you'd like to stop receiving these alerts, text STOP. Sent DATE @ TIME" These warning texts always arrived immediately after using data (having used data a few times throughout the day), and nearly always towards the end of the day. I always stopped my data usage immediately or soon after receiving the above text. On no day did I receive a further message about hitting 5MB or any other level of data usage. The texts are on my HTC Android phone are grouped together in a message 'conversation' so EVERY message from Vodafone is there. The Vodafone website states "We’ll send you free texts to let you know when you’re nearing the end of your data allowance. Once you’ve used your allowance you’ll pay the standard data rates." Note: "Texts" = plural. On no day was I sent more than one text advising 3MB usage When I first called Vodafone from South Africa when the size of my forthcoming bill became apparent, I spent about £20 calling customer services (billing dept) back to the UK. I was categorically told that they could give me NO breakdown or further info about my supposed data usage until after by bill was calculated at the end of the month. Since back in the UK I see on the Vodafone website: "If you need to use your phone in the rest of the world, you can extend Vodafone Data Traveller for just £5 a day for 25MB" Why wasn't I offered this option by customer services while I was paying for the provilege of calling them from overseas, rather than being charged up to £50 per day for less than 25MB usage?! I'm no stranger to roaming charges as I often have to travel for my work. But never have I had a bill anything like this! I'd really like to know where I stand regarding the charges and also having a time period to take this matter further with Vodafone without getting my phone suspended or credit rating affected. So any help or guidance would be gratefully received!
  8. I parked outside my gym on Saturday, as I have done for five years knowing the parking bays are Mon - Fri ending 6:30pm. Returning to my car I was surprised to see a parking ticket for 'Contravention 06 - Parked without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket'. Upon checking the white parking signs in the street, I saw that they'd been neatly re-stickered to display Mon-Sun ending 10pm! I don't doubt Brent Council's right to change the hours of parking bays as such, but surely there must be some kind of formal notification that regular visitors can see, e.g. a second big yellow sign attached to the post below the hours saying 'New Hours In Force - Please Check', similar to what I've seen for forthcoming suspension of parking bays. A permanent change of hours is AT LEAST as significant as a temporary suspension of the bay for the regular motorist, so surely a 2cm x 2cm white sticker on a white background up at 10ft on a lampost isn't notice enough? Any advice on the above greatfully received!
  9. Can anybody give me some guidance about how best to report / stop the underhand sales tactics being employed by United Airlines and their advertised but non-existent airfares? I'm hoping there is an official regulator in the airline sector? Or even a good press contact who will name and shame United for these tactics. Ideally I'd like to be able to claim some kind of compensation from United also as in the past week I've suffered loss due to reliance on their published airfares for a specific route, having passed up on other good options on other airlines on the natural assumption that what United Airlines were offering would be delivered. Now I've had to book elsewhere and prices have gone up. A bit of background info for you: United Airlines own websites (.com and .co.uk) offered numerous fares for an exact round trip, entered by me into their online booking system, starting at around 834 GBP. These fares also filtered through to various third party websites / aggregators such as expedia.com / kayak.co.uk etc. etc. Upon trying to book any one of these flights, when you try to pay for them you're suddenly taken through to a page stating "sorry, but the price originally quoted for your selected itinerary is not available due to a change in fare availability or processing error"… and then inviting you to pay almost double the advertised fare "So what" you may ask… I just missed the cut-off for the advertised fare, right? WRONG. United Airlines continue to advertise the lower fares. For nine days and counting. But every day, when you try to book, the price jumps up to 1400-1500 GBP. The third party websites such as Expedia and Kayak appear to have been hooked in by the cheap airfares also, only to then be kicked out at purchase stage once United decide they want near enough double the price to complete the transaction. So far I've spoken to a useless United call centre somewhere overseas and been fobbed off. I've also received two replies from customer services by email which have only succeeded in enraging me by stating: "fares change quickly based on market demands, giving you an advantage when you submit payment immediately and have your ticket issued." Trying to pay immediately is what I've tried to do on numerous occasions! United are still offering fictitious airfares nine days later! And this from an airline that claims on it's booking page "Lowest fares are at unitedairlines.co.uk - guaranteed!". Sorry, don't these lowest airfares actually have to exist?! I've saved numerous screen shots and web pages over the past week on this as evidence of the ongoing game being played by United. Ultimately I've ended up paying 1201 GBP elsewhere for a fare offered to me by United at 834 GBP, having passed up options to book with other airlines for far less than 1201 GBP. Any guidance on how best to attack these sharks of the skies would be appreciated!
  10. Thanks for the guidance on my original post. I helped my father to send off a Statutory Declaration, and yesterday (some 9 weeks later) he got a reply from the Traffic Enforcement Centre 'County Court Bulk Centre'. The reply states "… the Court Officer's decision to refuse your application to file your Statutory Declaration out of time." It continues "… the Court Officer is not required to give an explanation for refusal" and concludes by offering the right to appeal through a form N244 for review before a District Judge in the County Court. Back in May I viewed the claims of £500 'fees' for an alleged £8 Congestion Charge offence for my 70 year old father as both unjust and insane, but little more than an administrative inconvenience that would get rectified in due course. However now, having taken the time to fill out forms to make it clear that the claim for 'fees' had no grounds (as no Congestion Charge Notice had been issued / received), this reply from an official body leaves me fuming! It smacks of unaccountability, injustice, bully-boy money grabbing tactics and is going to waste valuable court time for a case that can easily be resolved by the simple forwarding of documentation / evidence (surely a right in any democracy without having to go to court?) Much as I'd like to not put my father into a court situation, the stance of the Traffic Enforcement Centre in their letter leaves us little option, so I fully intend to fight this case for my father every step of way. Does anybody have any advice to give here, both on this individual case, and just as importantly, on the bigger issue of raising some kind of public / Government awareness about what I believe to be a shocking waste of court resources and public money? Our country can't seem to be bothered to bring knife crime offenders before the courts, yet Transport for London are dragging pensioners in to court to beg for delivery of basic documentation and a removal of fanciful, yet potentially financially crippling claims from over zealous debt collectors… what is going on out there?!
  11. Many thanks for the advice on this. I'll take my father to a solicitors before work on Tuesday this week to get the PE2 & PE3 forms witnessed. Fingers crossed for a sensible reply from TEC on this. I'll let you know how we get on!
  12. A quick run down on my scenario: I've just found out that my 70 year old father has bailiffs hounding him for a supposed unpaid Congestion Charge in London. I'm horrified that an £8 charge is now being called in by a company called Equita at over £500 just a few months later after the alleged offence! What I'd like to do is get this resolved as quickly and as fairly as possible. Having read through these forums tonight (very helpful BTW) to get some grasp of what's ahead, I'm thinking I should file a 'Statutory Declaration Out Of Time' to get back to basics on this mess and establish with TfL exactly what the CC fine is for (my father only has Equita correspondence - nothing from TfL) and in all probability pay that, but hopefully none of the £500 fees claimed by Equita for harrassing my father over an £8 charge! My first question is this - are there deadlines for filing a Statutory Declaration Out Of Time? Unfortunately my father has been sitting on this Equita correspondence for a couple of months. First because he "thought it was nonsense / junk mail". Then more recently he secretly got stressed out about it all after he realised there was possibly a valid claim and seeing the amount claimed spiral up into hundreds of pounds. My second question is - can I be the one sorting out this problem for my father? At 70 years old he's simply not up for the battle / stress or various processes involved. Can I easily do this 'as myself', acting on behalf of my father in correspondence / representations etc? Or is it easier / better to simply 'pretend to be him' when writing / phoning the relevant people in the days ahead? 'Pensioner Hit With £500 Congestion Charge Fine' is the kind of headline you might to see in the newspapers. I'm just hoping I can get Equita to release the hounds as harassing a 70 year old man for £500 over a supposed £8 CC is way out of line. Any guidance on the above would be greatly appreciated. It could "make an old man very happy" as they say!
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