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      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
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      It all started mid summer during lockdown when they refused to service our boiler because we didn't have a loft ladder or flooring installed despite the fact AS installed the boiler. and had previosuly serviced it without issue for 4yrs. After consulting with an independent installer I was informed that if this was the case then ASG had breached building regulations,  this was duly reported to Gas Safe to investigate and even then ASG refused to accept blame and repeatedly said it was my problem. Anyway Gas Safe found them in breach of building regs and a compromise was reached.
      A month later and ASG attended to service our boiler but in the process left the boiler unusuable as it kept losing pressure not to mention they had damaged the filling loop in the process which they said was my responsibilty not theres and would charge me to repair, so generous of them! Soon after reporting the fault I got a letter stating it was time we arranged a powerflush on our heating system which they make you do after 5 years even though there's nothing in the contract that states this. Coincidence?
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      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
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      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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Stolen phone £3000 phone bill!

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Many thanks for that, it does fill me with some hope,


the companies are O2 - £10500 and Orange - £1800 and it may still increase!


We have contacted the press so we'll see how that goes too...

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It would be nice if the 'press' helped contribute some cash to in in return for the story - buy I somehow doubt it.


What IS of interest, is that O2 appear to be in a world of their own. Even WITH a contract phone, users have (internally set) credit limits - and whilst it would be unreasonable to expect them to police users accounts for calls totalling between £2,000-£5,000, anything in excess of this shows that it might be worth investigating, especially by looking at the location and calling patterms.


If view of the revised amount, I think you've actuallly stumbled into the territory where the network will actually share your culpability, as it is now they who are showing a reckless disregard to security - especially if the calling patterns are unusual. It might be asking what fraud detection or credit limiting devices were in place on your account, and ask why they were not operational?

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The bill now stands at £12300, this is all very frightening

I'd suggest starting your own thread. Also it's no secret that Orange view this forum (they even have a sticky!), so putting o2 and Orange in the title of your thread may help.

If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)


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OK, O2 have given me £5000 as a gesture of goodwill and arne't budging from this.


I did ask questions to which the responses were:

-We don't set internal credit limits

-We don't have people to look for fraudulent activity

-We only monitor unusual calling patterns in the first few months of being a customer

-If I hadn't reported the phone stolen, the bill would have just increased and increased....


Ofcom suggested Otelo would award a max of £5000 but as O2 have done this I'm note sure of the use of going to Otelo.


Does anyone have any further practical advice I could take?

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Switch to PAYG?


You'll find each network to a lesser of greater extent, will state the same thing. Very seldom used, but if people have no interest in roaming or international calls, they should have the facility disabled.


Doesn;t help you in the current case, I know - but they appear to have treated you fairly, and Otello will simply support this.

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AIT=Artificially Inflated Traffic

ONO=Originatng Network Operator (eg Vodafone)

TNO=Terminating Network Operator (eg Invomo)



The current AIT process


2.8 The current AIT process is a mechanism for identifying and dealing with AIT carried across BT’s network. It is limited in scope to cover AIT which may occur on number ranges where revenue share services are permitted.8 It was introduced in 2001 with the aim of enhancing industry provisions to deal with fraudulent and illegitimate activity.

2.9 The current AIT process enables the ONO to withhold termination payments otherwise due to a TNO for call traffic on the basis that the ONO suspects that the traffic is in fact AIT. The aim of the process is therefore to prevent the intended beneficiary of fraudulent or otherwise illegitimate traffic from receiving the proceeds of that traffic, and prevent or deter fraudulent activity as a result.

2.10 Under this process, if the ONO suspects that call traffic is AIT, it must pass certain preliminary information to the TNO as soon as ‘reasonably practicable’ to allow the TNO to investigate. Where the traffic transits BT’s network, the ONO passes the preliminary information to BT as the TO, which forwards it on to the TNO. The preliminary information which must be sent is the following:

i) the estimated total duration of the calls in question;

ii) the date(s) when the calls were made;

iii) the telephone numbers of the revenue share service and the partial CLI9 (if available) of the calling centre;

iv) any other information the ONO considers relevant; and

v) any other information reasonably requested by the TNO (including information regarding the identity of the calling centre and/or calling customer).

2.11 Once the ONO has provided the appropriate information, it may give the TNO written notice (no later than 14 calendar days from the end of the monthly billing period) of its intention to withhold payment.10


8 The current AIT process does not cover AIT which may occur on number ranges which have not been sanctioned by Ofcom to host revenue share services. The revised Annex E would broaden the definition of AIT and would therefore potentially cover number ranges which have not been

sanctioned for revenue sharing services, but where revenue share activities may occur.

9 CLI means calling line identity, which is the number presented to the called party when he or she receives the call.

Draft Determination to resolve a dispute between BT and various operators regarding changes to the SIA

the UK mobile companies employ similar methods regarding international numbers.


in the early 200? there was an EU Directive instructing the UK government to have mobile phone accounts subject to the same FSA laws that credit/debit/bank accounts are subject to. The Government was lobbied by the industry to ignore it. why?

Edited by goodwill
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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought I would give an update on the resolution and the background to our dispute with Orange about our liability to pay charges of £1000 incurred on the theft of a phone, in case it is of some use to others who may be trying to dispute these charges.


We corresponded extensively with Orange within days of discovering the theft, outlining the legal grounds of our dispute.


We made an offer of settlement at one point of £100 – this was rejected at the time and Orange made no attempt to negotiate a sensible sum. We made an offer of about 10% because we thought it was fair and might reflect the actual losses suffered by Orange by the fraud. Just a guess on our part!


Orange put the disputed debt in the hands of 3 different sets of debt collectors acting as their agents, and one purported solicitor who threatened to sue us. We were not bothered about this because we were willing to be put to a defence of the claim to see if we could establish any consumer law precedent – based particularly on the developing law on the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.


We did NOT pursue the arbitration schemes because a quick look at the digests of decisions shows that they back the phone companies every time.


Orange eventually assigned the debt to Arrow Global. They instructed new agents to pursue us and we copied them the whole file again indicating the basis of our dispute.


We did have to suffer the registration of a default on my partners otherwise unblemished credit record and this has caused some annoyance but no fatalities. Our attempts to get Equifax Experian etc to register my partner’s reply to the registration of a default were vetoed – it’s apparently libellous to state that the debt is disputed and the grounds! He had to file something much tamer!


Arrow Global then personally served a statutory demand for bankruptcy so we applied to the High Court to set it aside seeking our costs. In support of their application they had the cheek to say So far as we are aware the debt owed is not the subject of any dispute(!)


I attach our pleadings outlining the grounds of our application to set aside the statutory demand.


If you are thinking of using any element of them please be fully aware this is untested law and it is pushing the boat out just as much as the Bank charges case is. The brave soul who finally fights this point may have to contend with it being taken out of the small claims jurisdiction or even referred to the Commercial Court, and the costs could be very substantial. However if anyone is fighting off a bill in excess of the small claims limit and is eligible for legal aid or has legal expenses insurance and a keen solicitor to take it on.. maybe its worth fighting!


There is an argument about restitution – and about limiting the bank’s recovery to their losses rather than the substantial profit they hope to make by passing on the charges in full. This is an area I intended to research much further if the case ever went to court as its complicated and to me very unfamiliar law, and certainly could be pleaded better than my first attempt. However if there are any commercial lawyers looking in they might have a better idea.


The outcome of all this effort was a consent order under which we agreed to pay £150 in full and final settlement and with no admission of liability. The statutory demand is set aside with no order for costs and Arrow will remove the defaults.


So… I am wondering if we may be in the position that the banks were in with the mobile phone companies. Has anyone actually been sued over a disputed mobile phone charge? Are we in a situation where they don’t want a test case but will simply carry on bludgeoning people?


Would anyone like to cooperate in a complaint to the OFT to see if they can be persuaded to consider whether mobile phone contracts comply with the UTICC Regs?


It’s a question of how to fairly spread the risk. There are few other human activities as likely to cause you eye watering bills as a stolen mobile phone – the others that there are you can normally insure against, or (as with the banks) these area of risk are subject to regulation to put the burden on the party most able to bear it.



These were the grounds set out in our affidavit to set aside the statutory demand.

I do not admit the debt for the reasons given below.


1)The whole of the debt alleged to be due to Arrow Global LLC (“Arrow”) is disputed.


2)The alleged debt is for disputed charges applied to an account with my former mobile telephone service provider Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd (“Orange”). Arrow purport to be the assignee of the disputed debt from Orange.


3)The charges in question were incurred when the mobile phone of my partner X was stolen.


4)Between 27th September 2004 and 5th October 2004 it appears that calls were made totalling £1002.96 inclusive of VAT by a person or persons unknown to me or X and entirely without our knowledge or consent. The majority of calls were made to Malaysia and Singapore.


5)In so far as Arrow claim any amount is due on account of the failure to return the handset the same is denied. No demand for return of the handset or to levy charges in respect of this was ever made by Orange.


6)In so far as Arrow claim any amount is due on account of VAT I state that I was advised by Orange on 11th October 2006 that Orange had claimed VAT bad debt relief of £149.38, prior to the date of assignment of the debt to Arrow.


7)No admission is made as to the terms or validity of the agreement referred to by Arrow as being made between me and Orange on 11th May 2001 and I put Arrow to proof of the same by production of the agreement relied on.



8)It is denied that there is an enforceable term in any contract between myself and Orange which has the effect of making me liable for call charges incurred by a third party who acted fraudulently and without the consent of me, X or any person known to us.


9)X and I engaged in substantial correspondence with Orange regarding our alleged liability for the debt. References we made in the correspondence to Orange’s terms and conditions are references to information headed Pay Monthly Terms and Conditions contained in a booklet described as Guide to using your Motorola V500 which was supplied to us in a box with that model of mobile phone. No admission is made as to whether these form part of any contract between myself and Orange, and Arrow are put to proof both of the express terms they say I accepted and my acceptance of them.


10)In the course of correspondence with Orange it appears that

a)Orange have not disputed the theft of the phone or that charges were incurred by a third party, fraudulently, and without our knowledge or consent.

b)Orange rely on section 6.1.1 of their standard terms and conditions. If this relates to the terms set out in their Guide it reads as follows:-

Your responsibilities

6 When your payments are due

6.1 Ordinarily we will invoice you monthly in advance for monthly charges which are non-refundable and monthly in arrears for call and message charges but we reserve the right to amend the invoicing period and submit interim invoices to you. The Connections charge will be included on your first invoice. Charges in respect of Services not supplied directly by us eg. Roaming may be invoiced several months in arrears. VAT will be added to all invoices at the relevant rate where applicable. Payment is due when you receive your billing statement.

6.1.1 You will be responsible for paying all Charges on your Account whether or not they have been accrued by you personally. You will also be responsible for any extraordinary costs incurred in administering your Account including collecting any payments. If your Service has been Disconnected, either at your request or ours, you will remain responsible for paying any outstanding Charges.


Further terms and conditions contained within the Guide include the following definitions:-

Charges: All charges for Services, as published in our periodically Price Guide. These include any reasonable administration charges.

Account: our records of your payments and outstanding Charges, plus your personal details.

Services: Network and other Services, including Orange Additional Service provided or procured by us for you to use.


11)I dispute that the express term relied on has the effect claimed by Orange because the fraudulent misuse of a phone is not a “service provided or procured for me to use” under the contract. On a proper construction of the term there is no contractual power or right to apply charges to my account in respect of third party misuse.


12)The term relied on is one which was not individually negotiated and causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract to the detriment of the consumer. Moreover it is one which is not sufficiently clearly and intelligibly expressed by Orange in their contract documentation, or one which they have taken sufficient steps to draw to the attention of their customers in sales and other documentation.


13)I claim that a term which purports to make me liable for the fraudulent misuse of my phone after a theft is an unfair term within the meaning of Regulation 5 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. As such it is not binding on me as the consumer pursuant to Regulation 8 of those Regulations.


14)I have a defence to the claim for recovery of a debt made by Arrow for the reasons given at paras. 11) – 13) above, and intend to raise this defence in any proceedings brought by Orange, Arrow or any other party in respect of the disputed debt.


15)I also refer to the other complaints detailed in the course of correspondence between myself and Orange, namely that Orange provided inadequate safeguards to customers and inadequate notification about the degree of risk which they purported to impose on their customers. My complaints included that:-


a)There was no facility available to the consumer to monitor any charges incurred before publication of a monthly statement of account. A contemporaneous check by me in the period when the phone was being misused revealed no unusual charges applied to the account.


b)Orange’s Customer Security Department monitors individual accounts and their airtime levels but Orange confirmed as I was an established customer my account had a high airtime level and would not have been monitored until this level had been exceeded. Bills on my partner’s phone did not exceed £25 per month, but charges in excess of £1000 incurred over a 5 day period apparently failed to trigger monitoring.


c)The Company offered no facilities for the application of “capping” of monthly charges or of barring the phone at a limit set by the customer.


d)Sales literature and other documentation issued to customers does not make it clear that Orange purported to expose the customer to unlimited liability for unauthorised call charges or that this is an uninsured (and uninsurable) risk.


e)That Orange sought to recover the full amount of charges fraudulently incurred at their normal contractual rate from me


16)In the event that I am put to defence of a claim for this debt, I ask this Court to note in addition to the defence outlined at paras. 11) – 13) above:-



a)My intention is to raise a counterclaim that in failing to operate measures on behalf of its customer Orange was in breach of the term implied by section 13 Supply of Goods and Services Act to carry out the service with reasonable care and skill.

b)My intention to raise an alternative defence or counterclaim that any claim by Orange or their assignee to recover charges claimed to be contractually due is subject to limitation by application of the principles of unjust enrichment. But for the theft none of the calls would have been made and no profit would have accrued to Orange at all. Any claim of Orange or their assignee is limited to the basic cost of provision of the service provided by Orange and not to the profit they sought to recover.


17)I exhibit to this affidavit the correspondence between myself or X and Orange, the three debt collection agencies previously instructed by Orange, the solicitors of one of them, Arrow themselves and Westcot Credit Services Ltd (“Westcot”) who purport to be a debt collection agency instructed by Arrow.




18)In correspondence with these various parties, I have repeatedly made it clear that the debt is disputed, outlined my grounds of dispute, and made it clear that I would only pay the sum demanded if Orange (or their assignees) establish my liability by obtaining a judgment debt against me. I have indicated that I will defend any claim in the county court, but, despite numerous threats to commence proceedings, to date no claim has been issued.



19)In particular I aver that I spoke to an employee of Arrow’s agents Westcot by telephone on 26th July 2008 and afforded her a full account of the reasons why I disputed the debt. I then wrote to Westcot on 29th July 2008 enclosing a full bundle of the earlier correspondence in this matter. The documents sent at that time are those marked in handwriting 1-49 in the bottom right hand corner in the bundle exhibited to this affidavit.



20)On 26th May 2009 Arrow’s Litigation Department wrote to me by a letter headed Notice of intention to service a statutory demand pursuant to section 268(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1996, and claiming


The debt is owing and has been for a considerable period of time. To date you have failed to pay in full or propose an acceptable instalment arrangement. So far as we are aware the debt owed is not the subject of any dispute.


21)I claim that Arrow’s actions of serving this statutory demand are an abuse of process as they cannot fail to be aware both of the fact that I dispute this debt and that my grounds for doing so are substantial. For the avoidance of doubt I claim that Arrow had actual or constructive notice of the grounds of dispute notified by me to Orange, to the various agents of Orange, or to Arrow’s agents Westcot.


Relief Sought

I ask for the statutory demand to be set aside as there is a defence to the claim to recover the debt which discloses a genuine triable issue.


I seek an order that my costs be paid.

Edited by RosaofEdge
smileys somehow landed in the middle of the legal stuff!
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