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In November 2005 I entered into a supply contract with Orange via an agent. Orange offered a 1 GB download per month free of charge for the first three months on a year's contract. I questioned the agent on the cost of downloads once the free period was passed and in writing via email I was advised it was £4 per 1000 megabytes. I still have the original email. This did not sound unreasonable as orange were offering 1000 mbs free. I then agreed to the supply contract based on this info.

At end of March 2006 I received a bill in excess of £400 mostly for download charges. On questioning this I was told by Orange that it was £4 per megabyte. I immediately contacted the agent who then agreed that there had been a mistake but only advised me of this some 20 days later after I had recevied the first bill. They agreed to refund me the difference less the £4 as they stated this is what I would have paid anyway to the supplier. My argument is that they should then have paid the supplier the £4 as the agent did not have a network supply licence.

Anyway at the end of the following month I received another high bill but this time when I approached the agent for another refund they point blank refused to offer a refund stating that when I recevied the first bill I should have stopped downloading but at the time I assumed it was a clerical error as I had gone specifically for a package that offered me large downloads per month.

In addition approximatley 10 days of the new billing cycle would have elapsed before I got the first bill and until I received the first bill with the download charges I had no idea anything was wrong. At no time until approximately the 19th of April did the agent advise to stop downloading until the issue was resolved. As I had it in writing about the cost of the download per 1000 mbs I assumed that it was just a clearical error and it would be cleared off my bill. My billing cycle was from 20th of the month until 19th of the following month with the bill arriving at the end of each month.

Unfortunatley this did not happen and as I could not pay a bill of £400 plus at the time, I was defaulted and handed over to a DCA, NCO Europe. I agreed to pay them £70 per month which would have been the same amount for my contract if things had not gone pear shape. This now paid but the default remains.

I have written a nice letter to Orange and asked them politely to consider authorising the default to be removed as it was not deliberate on my part but due to a misleading pitch by the sales agent. Orange have not bothered with a response and I would like now to take it further.

I have checked all correspondence received from the agent and cannot find a contract at all as it was done over the Internet via the agents site mobiles.co.uk.

Please advice on the best course of action in order for me to get this one and only default removed as it is having an impact on my credit rating and I am unable to get deals at a good APR. In addition, I would like to take the agent to the Small Claims court for the extra download charges which work out at about £400. Would this be feasible?

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Today i received a letter from Orange and judging from their answer they did not even bother to read my letter or look at the accompanying evidence that i presented.

Instead they rambled on about cashback & discounts scenarios which is not a concern in this case. They also state that "the dealer used to sell for Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile & 3 therefore they are not acting as our agent". Hey have I missed something here?

The go on to state "Ofcom recently advise that "The mobile operators have in place processes for handling complaints about the sale and promotion of their mobile serices. These processes include handling complaints from customers that have been subjected to "slamming" or who are having difficulties in making claims onsales incentives schemes and advising then on howto obtian redress. Mobile operators do not, howeve, underwrite the obligations of other legal entities"

considering I wrote to them at the time of the incident and advised that I could not pay the bill in one go and asked if I could pay a higher amount over the next 7 months to catch up and they refsued and said all or nothing I find the above a bit contrary.

Orange then go on to say "We are legally obliged to show a true reflection of how you have condcuted your account. As a customer you were bound by the T & Cs as set out in your contract and duly responsible for any debbt or credoit histroy incurred in realtion to payment performance." I signed up on line and received T & Cs in the post but no copy of a contract. Since when are they legally obliged.

I really would like to have this default removed so hopefully someone can advise on my next step. Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As I was in dispute with Orange over the charges and they never replied, surely they should not have proceeded with a default and handing me over to the DCA. One and only default I have and it niggles as it was not my fault.

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