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Hey CAG, I've been a silent reader for a while and find myself requiring a little advice.

 

Basically I took out a 24 month contract with Orange, beginning 1st March 2011. The contract was due to expire on the 1st March 2013. I was paying by Direct Debit, up until a few months before the contract ended, where I cancelled with my bank so I could delay the bill payment for a few days. No issues there.

 

However, when it came to the end of the contract period, according to my contract small print, I was required to give one month notice of cancellation. After having trouble actually contacting anyone over the 150 number (my father also having the same issue - easy to take out a contract but impossible to cancel one!) I eventually did this by email on 1st March 2013, as I was going away and was unable to sit on the phone on hold for an indeterminable amount of time. I recieved an automated reply that Orange were looking into my request. After this, I had no other contact from Orange, and upon returning to the UK, as my bills were unpaid I was unable to log into my account. I recieved no contact from Orange regarding the account, and was unable to call 150 for free any more as I had already gotten rid of my old contract phone. So I (perhaps mistakenly) went about my daily business, thinking no more of the unpaid bill.

 

Perhaps one month later (mid-April I believe), I had a call from an Orange representative asking for some sixty pounds in unpaid charges. I disputed her claim and stated that I had requested my contract terminated. She said she couldn't do anything and gave me another number to call. Second mistake was made here, I didn't call the number. I really hate dealing with anything over the phone, I get extremely stressed and often struggle to hear what they are saying.

 

Recieved my first DCA letter from DLC on the 24th July 2013, with a balance outstanding of £139.61. My second was recieved on 5th August 2013. I often read about people ignoring the DCA letters, was this a mistake too? After the second letter, they managed to find my home phone number and I took a call some time in August. The representative from DLC was understanding and spoke to me like a normal person which I was glad about. I stated my dispute, he told me something about having to activate a new sim card to confirm the Orange contract was cancelled, I was never told this anywhere in my contract nor in the phonecall I had with Orange. I did read about this somewhere else recently, but it sounds completely ridiculous, I did not want to continue my contract whether it was monthly or pay-as-you-go! He also told me the best thing to do would be to contact Orange again and give them the same statement.

 

I took this advice, and upon calling Orange I was greeted by a bored-sounding woman who told me I was unable to dispute the claim as the debt had already been passed on to DCA, and I would need to dispute it with them. So I emailed DLC on 31st August 2013, stating the dates of the contract, my issues with the charges and the dispute over cancellation. I was out of the country again and stated to them I would be unavailable until 10th September, which they noted in their reply and said the account was on hold until that date, they also asked me to forward all details of the dispute. Upon my return to the UK, I recieve news of yet more calls made from DLC, with the reference number and a contact number.

 

My last email to DLC was on 3rd October 2013, giving a large dated list of all contact between me, Orange and DLC, my dispute with their claim, and the fact I thought it was unfair that Orange let the contract continue running, when no bills were being paid, nor was my contract number even in use for any calls, messages or data. I stated I was aware I owed Orange money for the final month of my contract, however I was unable to log in to my account to pay it. I also asked that they not call me and that I wanted to continue correspondence through writing. They replied to this email today, on 7th October, with a useless copy & paste of a previous email, giving the date the account was passed to them (23rd July 2013 - with a balance of £139.61) also breaking down the balance into £106.10 airtime, £22.90 contract charges and £10.61 admin charges for the DCA.

 

I have not replied yet as I'm unsure what to write without asking them if they actually even read the last email I sent them. How big a mistake was it letting it get passed on to DCA? Am I liable for the whole debt, even after giving cancellation notice and them letting the contract continue, unused? And in the event I'm liable for the full amount, can they refuse payment in installments? I only work part-time and would struggle to pay all at once.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

 

Jamie

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How frustrating!! Iv had this happen to me before but with 02.

 

The DCA can do nothing, they are only acting on behalf of orange to try and bully you into paying. U can safely ignore any DCA unless they have bought the debt which is highly unlikely.

 

U can deal with orange direct, some contracts have small print where if unless you tell them the automatically renew the contract ( sneaky tactic) but they do it.

 

You should only owe 1months line rental (30days) so i cant see how they want over £100!

 

You would only owe any extra charges if used the phone, which if you didnt that figure has probably got heaped charges and interest. Which i think you can query.

 

The rest is dca fees which you can tell them to bugger off.

Never call a dca or give them ur details or answer any of there questions.

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You need to deal with Orange directly and in writing

 

Write telling them:

 

That you cancelled the contract (giving the date) and did not request a PAYG sim

That you have been contacted by a DCA saying that you have a debt payable to Orange because you did not activate the PAYG SIM that you did not request and is not mentioned in your contract with Orange

That you require confirmation that the contact was ended on , that the alleged debt is cancelled, that any adverse entries are removed from your credit file and that you are reimbursed for all of your costs and time in resolving their problems

That you require a response in writing by

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