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Issues with Mobile Phone Hire Agreement [under CCA] from employer & data charges


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Hi there peeps,

 

I was wondering if someone could shed some light on the legal implications

of a mobile phone contract I took out just over a year ago with my current employer.

 

Back in February 2013,

I was offered a mobile phone contract through work as part of an employee benefits scheme

that they run from time to time.

 

I agreed to a 24 month contract through them with Orange

accompanied with a shiny new iPhone 5 at a cost of £40.65

to be deducted from my gross salary, on a monthly basis.

 

I signed a contract to state that they could take the money

directly from my salary over 24 months and

 

that if I left employment with the company they had the right to deduct the remainder

of the monthly amounts from my last wage with the company.

 

Also, they had set up a DD to deduct any amounts of "overspend"

over my monthly allowance directly from my bank account.

 

back in November last year,

after some disputes internally about not hitting sales targets,

I decided it would be better looking on my CV if I handed my notice in

(as I had already been through 2 disciplinary meetings

and wasn't getting anywhere with requesting my targets

to be reduced despite me working there for 3 years

and hitting target consistently every month for the past three years

- that is another story though.)

 

Having paid just over £650 out in my last wage to pay up the contract when I left,

I was very fortunate in that I managed to land a more suitable position in the same company

literally two weeks after I had left.

Happy days!

 

Fast forward to May this year when

 

I checked my amounts leaving my bank account (forever the money saver!!)

only to notice that the amounts of overspend that they have been deducting from my account

had increased five-fold from around £1.00 per month

(prior to me leaving employment) to around £5.00 per month (after I had left up until recently.)

 

In addition to this,

I had noticed that I have been charged by them,

two payments,

one of £71 and

the other of £42

- in the latter,

more than 70 times my usual monthly overspend amount,

as per the amounts that I was usually spending prior to me leaving employment.

 

As far as I can fathom,

my tariff had not changed from the "Orange Solo 25" tariff which is stated in my contract

and I have not received any notification that any part of the contract has changed

since initially leaving employment.

 

I questioned this with my "billing company/employer"

and was told that the amounts were for mobile data usage,

given an apparent itemised bill

(which just showed my usual usage as well as several erroneous extra bundle charges,

strangely equaling the exact extra amounts)

and was told that the amounts were correct with no course of recompense

if I disputed that I had used these amounts legitimately.

 

Subsequently,

I contacted my bank and submitted two separate indemnity claims

for the amounts they had took that were extortionate,

as well as cancel my direct debit via my bank.

 

I informed my billing company that I had done so due to me disputing the amounts

of overspend and requested that they contacted Orange

to provide details of the sources for the overspend amounts

(ie either via reverse SMS billing or from IP addresses

which I could use to locate websites/services in order to ascertain eithe

r if I had legitimately used the data or,

in fact whether I had actually done so.)

 

I also said that I did not wish for the amounts to be deducted directly from my account

so I could keep more control over the amounts leaving my account

(as previously I have tried to communicate with Orange directly,

only to be told that it is my employer/billing company that

owns the contract and that I need to speak to them regarding

any charges or details relating to the contract.)

 

Their response was "if you have raised an indemnity claim

for the amounts and have cancelled the direct debit for the overspend,

we will bar the handset"

and in terms of the data that

"they could get amounts of data used as well as dates the data was transferred,

but not itemised services or reverse SMS billed data due to Data Protection"

- a term which is in my contract stating that they can access this information

and that I give them permission to by agreeing to the terms of it.

 

My question is,

if they are stating that the necessity of a direct debit on my account is so important

that it nullifies the contract should it be cancelled,

surely this should be in the terms of the contract itself

and, if it is omitted,

then this would be a claim of imposing a misleading term in the contract

by failing to state intrinsic material information

which has made me make an informed financial decision

(as per the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008?)

 

If this is the case also,

am I correct in saying that they would have to revert me back to a pre-contractual state

by refunding any amounts I have paid to them from the commencement date

of my contract once I have returned the goods

and they are examined to be free from damage and neglect?

 

If I had of known that I could not pay in any way I wanted for the overspend amounts,

I would have exercised my right to cancel the contract within the 14 day cooling off period,

but due to this not being in the contract and only just finding out about it now,

the 14 days has been and gone and it seems as if I have been well and truly stuffed.

 

I have left out my employer's details for obvious reasons...

 

Any help or advice would be highly appreciated.

 

Many thanks

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mobile contracts of that era are not a CCA.

 

how about an SAR to orange

 

then prove the data was not of your doing?

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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mobile contracts of that era are not a CCA.

 

how about an SAR to orange

 

then prove the data was not of your doing?

 

dx

 

The contract itself states in huge bold letters at the head and on the front page "Hire Agreement Regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974" so it seems the terms they have bound me to are implicated in the CCA

 

Orange flat out refuse to speak to me as they just say that the contract is in my employers name and that any enquiries need to go through them, my employer is stating they can't discuss the services which have used the data with Orange as it constitutes a breach of data protection laws.

Edited by guitarist27
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It doesn't constitute a data breach by your employer. If I wish to speak to you about personal things of mine, that is up to me, I am permitted to tell you anything I want. It's the same with your employer, if they hold the contract, they can talk to you about it, but only if they want to. They won't be breaching any data protection laws by doing so.

What they can't do is talk about someone else to you.

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Could someone please move this thread to the General Consumer Issues section as I think it would be better answered there (the question is more about the contract itself rather than the mobile phone?)

 

Many thanks

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who is the hirer on that signed hire agreement

 

orange or your employer

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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so its a hire only not hire purchase

 

and mentions a 'phone'

 

but not the provider nor what phone?

 

new one on me..

 

i'll move this to the general legal forum I think

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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so its a hire only not hire purchase

 

and mentions a 'phone'

 

but not the provider nor what phone?

 

new one on me..

 

i'll move this to the general legal forum I think

 

dx

 

It actually mentions:

 

 

The following mobile phone handset is to be hired in accordance with clause 7.1(a) below (the "handset"):

 

iPhone 5 32GB Black (On the "Orange Network/Tariff "orange_solo-25")>

 

Section 7.1 is in relation to the provisioning of the product and states that during the hire period I get the use of one handset of my choice hired in accordance with this agreement and connection to the network (Orange) which will be held by ******* (my employer) with ******* being the ultimate account holder.

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ok lets hope we've gathered enough for the experts

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Sorry to keep bumping this thread but I have only just realized - they haven't supplied me with details of the "credit limit" neither in the Hire Agreement nor in a pre-contractual information form....

 

Please clarify if I am incorrect in saying this but if I request the credit limit information, could I then give them 14 days notice from the day they supply me this information, that I no longer wish to continue with the agreement? Also would they need to return me to a pre-contractual state, along with refunding any monies I have paid to them within 30 days once I have returned the handset to them? I think this is correct as per The Consumer Credit (Agreements) Regulations 2010 & The Consumer Credit Act 1974 but just need a second opinion:

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/1014/schedule/1/made - Paraghraph 5

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/39/section/66A

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Love benefits schemes :|

 

All the ones i know of will only accept you on the scheme paying direct debit for any of the purchases.

 

You are normally fronted with 2 contracts - 1 direct from employer and the other your contract via your employer with the provider.

 

Orange should be supplying any information you require regarding your usage.

 

If you are getting no where I would suggest sending Orange a SAR adding as to what you require

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