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Orange and Debt


Bulbie
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Hi all. I've recently had all my disability benefits stopped, and I can't work right now due to ill health. I currently have no income, and my partner has taken a hit in wages which means he cannot afford to pay my bills like he used to.

 

I've dealt with everyone else as far as I can right now, but Orange, whom I wrote to first to let them know of the change in my circumstances, told me they couldn't help, could I just phone them instead.

 

I've got no income and can't pay for my contract anymore, so I need out, or need at least to work out something with them to get them the money that I owe them. According to my bank, they paid for it last month but obviously that won't happen this time. I'm due another bill out in about a week.

 

All I want is to leave a paper trail behind me and work something out with Orange without just letting the costs build up and up because they say sorry no money no help.

 

Is there a letter I could write informing them of my circumstances? I really can't handle being on the phone to them all day - I have a mental illness that makes that extremely difficult, and arthritis in my hands so I can't hold the phone very well. And of course with no money I can't buy a speaker phone.

 

I would greatly appreciate help on this one as fast as possible please!

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This can be useful if there is a reasonable possibility of your situation changing and the contract restarted. If it will simply delay the imposition of a default, this delays the removal of the default 5 years down the line. As you now realise, changes to personal circumstances make no difference to these legally bindin contracts. You are still worth money to them when you don't pay, as your debt will be sold on to a succession of firms all eager to make you not only pay up, but their charges for administering your indebtedness. The downside is your credit file being trashed.

 

The mobile contract should never be treated as a 'necessary evil'. It remains a bad move for any consumer, AND is totally uneccesary - so avoid signing up for a new one at all costs....

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I never took out the contract as a necessary evil. I could afford it at the time and it was way cheaper than using pay and go at that point in time for me.

 

I respect the help, but I think I need something other than to be basically told well it's your own fault. I didn't ask to be in this situation, after all.

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Don't shoot the messenger. The only alternative is to reassign the contract to someone else willing willing to tkae on the remainder. There are bebsites around that match people willing to sell it on, with folk wanting that handset and tariff. Without this, you remain liable. As for it was OK when you took out the contract, surely this is irrelevant? The point is that if you agree a minimum commitment, you are declaring that you will agree to this commitment and remit monthly until the minimum duration is met. Expecting a network to agree to letting you walk away because your circumstances have changed to the detriment shows a reckless disregard of how these contract work. Why do you think networks have had to offer SIM only contracts (with 30 days minimum terms) ? To stop evenyone leaving for PAYG. It's not because they want to play fair by their customers, but mop up those that are not fooled by the 'free handset' offers and the up to 2 years commitment, the agreement to wreck a credit file if the conditions are not precisely met, and permission to sell on the debt to any number of third parties to try and make you pay up.

 

I'm not unsympathetic to your plight, but networks are not - there is no magic wand, just work to minimise your exposure should things go wrong.

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I'm not stupid I know they only want my money. I also know I still owe the money to them regardless of my situation. I don't need to be told any of that.

 

I just want to know how is the best way to proceed, in writing, with sorting out my situation with them so that I can get them paid back then freed from my contract? That is all.

 

I'm not going to argue, this is not turning into a flaming thread.

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(1) Assign the contract to a third party. (only works whilst the phone is still connected).

(2) If you cannot, there is nothing else other than payment will prevent the automated processes taking over.

(3) There are no negotiations in variance of the contract you agreed - this will be noted on the document. Waivers can happen if there is a failure of the network, but not otherwise.

(4) Mitigate youre loss. Sell the phone on an auction website if it is still desirable, and avoid 'sell your mobile' websites.

(5) There are no arguments, nor flaming. This is well-trodden ground, I'm unaware of any 'personal appeal' making the slightest difference to a well-oiled recovery machine. I'd like to think a network cares about its customers, but I doubt human intervention takes place - a largely automated system swings into action and you become a statistic. (One of serveral millions who have had their phone disconnected and their credit file marked accordingly).

(6) There is no magic bullet or process that resolves the issue of a contract default - the only difference is the speed in which the service is curtailed and the pursuit letters.

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