Hi all.....as usual, a bit of advice is needed here as this is ridiculous now.
After a credit app knock back , we did the usual thing and checked our Equifax report and noted it to be a bit "colourful". One of the reds is for a disputed Orange Mobile phone bill in January 2010, (Yes 2010!).
A bit of history may help with the advice. We went on holiday (Africa), for 15 days, (2009) taking the Mobile phone and dongle with us. Being very aware of the costs of mobile/data when abroad, we purchased a local PAYG mobile and kept the data access to a strict minimum using the hotels wifi to surf and make calls over skype. Data and roaming on the phone was switched off, and the dongle SIM was removed when switched off.
For the 15 days in country, of which one was on an isolated safari park, and the remaining 10 in two separate wifi hotels, we received a bill from Orange totalling over £2000.00.
First bill was taken by DD for £500.00 whilst on the holiday. Bit worrying but because we run our own business we anticipated it was because of the busy period before we went on our jolly days.
Next bill in jan 2010 was for £1569.00. Our holiday was from 28th Dec 09 - mid Jan2010. When I recieved the statement, I rang Orange to discuss the statement as it just had 3 sheets and no call information or details. Coming from a comms background and knowing the spamming culture of the country we had been to, I wanted to know the exact details of the calls made or the data downloads. I was quite specific in my reasonable requests...I wanted to know the Ip address of the local data transfer centre, the location of the local 3g node, and the geographic location of the alleged usage, and any other relevant information. I was generally passed between post and pole and assured the information would be sent to me.
Orange responded by sending me 15 double sided sheets of statement listing the APN/Service Class as "business LAN access" with one "access" being 18 hours long!! No other details at all ie the information I requested.
I then sent them a letter and e mails disputing the amount and to call me to discuss this urgently. 5 correpsondonces later I had still recieved nothing at all.
During Feb and March 2010, my bank kindly rang me up and said "do you have your mobile with you at the moment because Orange are about to try and take £1569 on a direct debit from your account" I told my bank to refuse the DD and tag the refusal with the fact the account is in dispute. The bank refused it 3 times with the same reason.
I started to recieve calls from Orange - two or three I think. Each time explaining at length my concerns and not wanting to accept the debt if the data card had been spammed or corrupted or faulty.
The mobile and dongle were disconnected by Orange after the last call from them and my further request for information. I think my last words were, "if you can prove from the information you have that I actually made the calls, then I will pay it"
And yes, you've guessed! The usual suspects appeared on the letter writing scene - Moorcrofts and DLS. They got the immediate fob off letter as my dispute is with Orange etc. and to be honest, they have backed off since my request for information is reasonable and relative.
So we are in the same position that we were some two years ago!
My belief is that I havent defaulted on payment, I have disputed the bill before payment. But Orange have tagged us in the Equifax report as defaulting.
Both the debt collecting agencies seem to have dropped it, which in essence, could be an easy £1500 for them.
So....what do we do now to get this removed from our credit report. Equifax have spoken to orange who have come back and said we have defaulted - (listed it as a dispute with equifax)- and we are still showing red. The annoying thing is that the payment records from Orange show us as regular payers, (between £150 - £300 pcm)
Thanks caggers for any advice you can give.
PS...it seems to me that there is a possible loophole in the data roaming billiing if the Telco does not provide the full detials of your 3g data useage...or maybe this is another post to be placed?!