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Unpaid bills..


Littlelady08
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Hi there,

 

I have a contract with Orange which I haven't paid since January of this year. It's an online contract so I do not get bills through my door. Since I have stopped paying the bill they have (obviously) barred my phone for incoming and outgoing calls. They have also barred my internet account so I don't actually know how much I owe them at all since I cannot log on to find out. Since I have stopped paying the bills I have received only one letter I think from Orange around March time. And that is it.

 

I have called them once around the same time to explain to them the issue, which is that I had been in a major car accident and been signed off sick from work, being a student and a waitress I obviously did not get even remotely acceptable SSP. I asked if they could perhaps freeze the account for a couple of months while I got back on my feet and add the extra months on the end of the contract, which they refused. I have been working again since the end of April but have been using the money to pay off a back log in rent which I have now sorted out.

 

I have been living at a different address for over a month now so obviously they have no way to contact me (not that they have bothered anyway, even when I was living at the old address). I have my settlement from the accident due to come through in the next few weeks and I'm not sure how to approach the subject.

 

Should I just ring them and settle the balance? Should I sort out a payment plan so it wont be such a chunk of my money? Should I bother at all? They have only contacted me once about the money and I have heard nothing more. I don't want to end up with the debt collectors at my door, if they have a way to find out where clients live?

 

I'm quite unsure what to do, any advice would be fantastic.

 

Thank you xx

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Hi Littlelady,

 

I'm sorry to hear that your car accident but glad you're not better and back working.

 

I'd strongly advise that you give them a call. If you ring up and the balance is a small amount then for peace of mind if nothing else i would pay it off. If it's an amount that you can't immediately pay then you should tell them about your accident and offer to either make a payment now (an amount you can afford), and if you're 100% sure the money is coming and will allow you to settle the bill in full, then give them that guarantee. I think a lot of people get into a mess when they say they'll make a payment on a certain date but then either forget or can't afford to. Name of the game therefore is offer an amount you know you can afford but don't miss it.

 

I know this probably sounds like common sense rather than advice but i'd take this approach rather than doing nothing. This would only lead to an escaltion and possible fees being charged for debt collectors, letters etc.

 

Hope this helps.

 

James

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Hmm, well I owe them at least £300, for a student, that's a lot to let go of in one go.

 

They are aware of the accident but understandably weren't very sympathetic, being a business and all. I think it was a little unfair refusing to take my phone insurance off of the monthly bills however, since it wasn't being used at all.

 

The thing is, I'm convince if I phone them they will want the money there and then and send big scary men to my house. I guess I could always put the phone down if I start to panic.

 

I am 100% sure the money is coming, a lorry drove into my car on the motorway when he was changing lanes and has already admitted liability. They are currently in they're 21 day period of responding to the offer so I should hear back pretty soon.

 

Also, is it not a bit weird that Orange have only sent me ONE letter, and no more, for over 6 months?

 

Thanks for your advice xx

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this might sound silly but they most likely emailing you what with it being an online account. I would call but do not let on you have moved until they have agreed a plan you can afford. If they are being fussy and not playing game hang up and let them chase you at your old address. But beware that a DC will catch you at some point and the balance may well be higher but they will be more likely to take a payment plan.

 

here you could also send them an income and expenditure form, they might be more cooperative that way.. it would mean giving aware your new address.

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I'm afraid I must disagree with BosBoy. Hanging up if they're not "playing game" will only leave them feeling that you're not at all honest or seeking to resolve the problem. I believe this would only escalate the problem rather than make it go away.

 

Do have a look on the Orange website (particularly the corporate rather than sales website) and see if they have any policies on dealing with people who are unable to pay their bills. Most companies have a policy these days - hold them to it!

 

Most importantly when you call make a note of the time, person you spoke to and department and exactly what was said. If this ever does get escalated or disputed that you have a record - and have sought to deal with it rather than avoid it - goes a long way.

 

Kind Regards

 

BB

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