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"Bought secondhand mobile. Now blacklisted by Vodafone"


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My partner bought a handset privately and it worked fine for a month. Then it wouldn't make or receive calls. It turns out it's been blacklisted on UK networks.

 

We've run a report and also reported it to the police.

 

It turns out that it's not stolen, nor is it the subject of an insurance claim.

 

I'm assuming then that the previous owner is in default with their contract and hence it's been blocked by whichever network they're in default with.

 

My question is is there any way to get the block lifted? Anyone had experience of this before?

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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Not an option unfortunately :-(

 

Is it worth contacting the networks and explaining the situation?

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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You can but from experience you would be wasting your time. They won't unbar it unless the bill payer pays what they owe. Why can you not take it back to where you got it from?

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The person we bought it off is saying it's nothing to do with her. We have threatened and are pursuing a route to the small claims court but currently the seller is washing her hands of the situation.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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Its not directly relevant to you - but its crossed my mind blocking a mobile could constitute a penalty clause in a consumer contract.

 

I suspect the bottom line is how much you paid, as that dictates how much you should chase it.

 

If you are left with the phone, you could always sell it on a non UK part of Ebay as it will not be blocked there.

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Its not directly relevant to you - but its crossed my mind blocking a mobile could constitute a penalty clause in a consumer contract.

 

 

I've been thinking about this.

 

We have discovered that Vodafone have blacklisted the handset. We've checked and it's not been reported lost or stolen so presumably the customer has defaulted on their airtime contract.

 

With every mobile contract I've been involved in there are two parts 1. The airtime contract which is a monthly payment in return for an allocation of minutes, texts and data and 2. The handset which is either given free or for which the customer pays a lump sum.

 

Either way the handset is then the property of the customer for he or she to do with as they see fit.

 

Surely then Vodafone have no right to blacklist the handset as a result of a contract default? My logic suggests that this would constitute an unfair penalty clause and / or an unfair restraint of trade, wouldn't it?

 

Comments anyone?

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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The handset only becomes the property of the customer after they have made the last payment on the contract. Unroll then it's still belongs to the network.

 

As its been blacklisted it would have been a contract phone and the customer has defaulted on the payments.

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The handset only becomes the property of the customer after they have made the last payment on the contract. Unroll then it's still belongs to the network.

 

 

Are you sure?

 

I've known several people who've defaulted on their contract and their handset has never been blacklisted. This is the first instance I've ever come across.

 

I've changed handset (private third-party purchase) mid-contract many times and there's never been an issue from the networks when I've sold my original handset.

 

Vodafone don't even lock the handsets they issue.

 

I'd be interested to see the small print of a voda contract if anyone has one. When a contract is taken out all the marketing says £FREE handset with such-and-such a plan or £xx for the handset. The implication at least is that the handset becomes your property immediately and it's always the way I've worked.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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I've just been browsing the Vodafone T&C's

 

http://www.vodafone.co.uk/vodafone-uk/about-this-site/terms-and-conditions/products-and-services/pay-monthly-airtime-conditions/index.htm

 

I can't immediately see anything that explicitly allows them to blacklist the IMEI for non-payment

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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Well Mr KAR 120C, in the past I have ended two contracts early. One with T-mobile when they introduced charging for 0800 calls, which I knew they were about to do, so left the phone calling them for a bit each evening. This meant when the change came in my bill would increase by well over £100 a month on a £30 contract.

 

The contract ended based on the increase in my bill being greater than inflation. The phone was a 3 month old Seimens SL45 costing about £400 which I got to keep.

 

I ended a contract with Three early, as I had checked three postcodes where I would use it most, and they had said two had good coverage, and the third had none, but would drop to 2G so calls could be made. It worked in one of the gardens, and upstairs at one window in one house. The phone could not drop to 2G, as that was blocked in the firmware, so could not work in that entire town.

 

When the Indian girl asked for the phone back, I pointed out we should be in the position before or after the contract, and if she wanted the phone back they would need to refund my line rental (6 months into a 24 month contract at £20 a month with a £300 Nokia E71). She said I would have to keep the phone.

 

So the situation is the seller sold you a phone that was working. If it was not their phone to sell, then your claim would be against the seller. If the phone was theirs to sell, then Vodafone has trashed your phone and your claim is against them.

 

You cannot rely on the contract between the seller and vodafone (which probably does not mention they will trash the phone) as it has nothing to do with you, other than to decide who owned it (rather than to have the phone unlocked for being locked outwith the contractual terms).

 

The bottom line as I mentioned above is how much is the phone worth?

 

First try asking Lee the Vodafone rep in here to see what he says.

 

If it helps, I just had the O2 phone I use in the UK unlocked despite not using O2, based on arguing with them over their second major failure this year that the phone was not a satisfactory product as it was locked to a network they admitted themselves had not provided a satisfactory service. So there is clearly flexibility if you like arguing.

 

Secondly, if the phone is worth under £150 - £200, and you take them to court (not online). It will cost more for them to be represented, so you are likely to win by their failure to defend - but that is obviously not a certainty. You might however win on its merits anyway.

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The handset only becomes the property of the customer after they have made the last payment on the contract. Unroll then it's still belongs to the network.

 

As its been blacklisted it would have been a contract phone and the customer has defaulted on the payments.

 

The phone is a free "gift" and is yours as soon as you receive it. Otherwise the contract would be subject to "hire purchase" rules, chiefly the consumer credit act... and if this was the case, we consumers would have a lot more rights with our mobile contracts.

 

You could try contacting Lee (the resident vodafone rep) by following this advice

Hi CAG members,

We thought it would be nice to introduce ourselves and to assure you all that our presence on CAG is with the very best of intentions.

vodafone UK has recently introduced a dedicated Web Relations Team which is keen to seek out customers who’re having difficulties with their accounts and feel that they have no other place to turn to than CAG and other consumer forums and blogs.

Naturally, it’s not possible for us to help directly with account specific queries on CAG and as such we would encourage those members who feel we can help them to contact us privately at [email protected] quoting ‘WRT135 – CAG Forum’ in the subject line to ensure that it reaches the Web Relations Team.

When emailing us we would also ask that you either provide us with a link to your post or thread – if you’ve posted in another member’s thread please also provide your CAG username so that we can check what your query is.

 

After talking to Lee, it should be clear if you have a case against whoever sold you the mobile, and I would also see if you should involve the police.

 

My feeling is that the person has reported the phone stolen to vodafone... I can't see any other reason that this handset should be blocked.

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

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

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Thanks to both of you for the excellent advice, as always on here.

 

I'll certainly contact the Vodafone web relations team.

 

I've always understood the handset to be the property of the contract holder as soon as it's received and accepted. In this case it's worth around £450 new and was bought in an "as new" condition from the seller. Also it was definitely working when we bought it on 28th May and worked until 4th July.

 

Thanks again both of you.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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@locutus

 

Just to finish the story, the IMEI has been checked on Webmend and we also reported the matter to the police; both sources told us categorically that the IMEI in question has not been reported lost or stolen, neither is it, nor has been the subject of an insurance claim.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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So if i buy a sim only contract for £25 a month then decide to change the next year to the same contract but i want a phone which bumps the contract up to £30 a month are you saying that the extra fiver a month is not to cover part of the handset.

 

My friend has an iphone 4 on contract which is 30 a month, now he wants to upgrade to an iphone 4S and its either pay £150 and the hand set is his or up his contract to £40 a month and the hand set is his after the contract is finished.

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So if i buy a sim only contract for £25 a month then decide to change the next year to the same contract but i want a phone which bumps the contract up to £30 a month are you saying that the extra fiver a month is not to cover part of the handset.

 

My friend has an iphone 4 on contract which is 30 a month, now he wants to upgrade to an iphone 4S and its either pay £150 and the hand set is his or up his contract to £40 a month and the hand set is his after the contract is finished.

 

What I'm saying is that the handset is your property as soon as you receive it. Look at the marketing for the contract, it will either state "Free handset at £x a month" or "£y a month + a lump sum of £z for the handset" The implication is strongly that the handset is yours either way, it's either a free gift or you've paid £z for it.

 

The contract is for "airtime" - i.e. minutes, texts and data.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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And if you want a hand set with the contract the price goes up. Check some of the contracts on the mobile websites, sim only is one price and sim + phone is slightly more.

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And if you want a hand set with the contract the price goes up. Check some of the contracts on the mobile websites, sim only is one price and sim + phone is slightly more.

 

Yes, I'm not disputing that. But the contract is for "airtime"; it's obviously adjusted to cover the cost of the handset over the contract duration but, and it is a big but, the shop rep, and or the marketing for that contract will state "Free handset" or "£z for the handset". A company can't offer something as £Free and later decide it's chargeable, and if you've paid £z for the handset... well you've... paid for it.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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I know - but i think a couple of the companies now change their T&Cs to mention the increase as soon as it is announced, so you cannot then just buy a phone and fix your usage so that you can end the contract when the change happens.

 

I have bought one phone in the UK recently, and it was at O2 had it on sale half price - I thought it would be a tenner to unlock but it was £30-£35 and "no warranty". So it was looking like I could only use it in the UK until they agreed it was not satisfactory due to the lock. :D:D:D

 

Most phones bought outside the UK are unlocked. Also, as its not the network who is supplying the phone the same was as in the UK, about 15-20% of mobiles are available with dual sims (although the highest spec to date is the dual sim Samsung Galaxy Pro).

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Well, first response from the Vodafone web team is not very encouraging as you will see below. They are stating that they only blacklist when the handset has been reported lost or stolen but the police tell us that it has not been reported lost or stolen.

 

Vodafone need to get off their lazy backsides and address this - at the very least they need to contact the original account holder and ask them for an explanation. It's not our problem.

 

I apologise for inconvenience caused to you. I understand your concern about unblacklisting the handset. I would like to inform you that we blacklist the handsets only when they are reported as lost or stolen by the account holder.

It has nothing to do with the payments not being made by the account holder.

We will not be able to unblacklist it without the authorization from the account holder. I would request you to visit the place of purchase to get it done.

I trust the above addresses your query.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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How would the police know if the phone was reported as lost to Vodafone?

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

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

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How would the police know if the phone was reported as lost to Vodafone?

 

There's a standard UK industrywide database that records all instances of blacklisted mobile handsets. Anyone can check it via Checkmend and the police have access to it. Any handset reported lost or stolen to any one of the UK networks has to be listed on the database, likewise any insurance company dealing with a lost or stolen mobile claim has to record the details on the database.

 

I've attached a shot of the data I received back from Checkmend and which the police confirmed.

 

Screenshot from 2012-07-18 17:49:51.gif

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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In fact it wasn't until the police told us that we knew which network had blocked it so the police have access to more detailed data than the general public does.

I will not make any deals with you. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. Number 6

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