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On-going 'debt' problem with Orange since EE took over


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My son came over from Australia at the end of July 2013 for his annual visit. We visited an Orange store and took out a sim only 28 / 30 day rolling contract in order that we could cancel it as soon as he went back. We cancelled it at the same store and I also rang Orange to confirm cancellation. £59.58 was paid by direct debit on 2d September which I then cancelled.


I never gave it another thought until I received a letter dated 3rd April 2014 saying there were changes being made to my Orange account regarding price. I wrote back immediately saying I had no account with Orange and would they kindly delete my records.


27th August 2014: I received a letter saying I owed £373.95 and threatening to disconnect me if I didn’t pay immediately. I wrote back on 7th September giving a detailed explanation of when and where the account was cancelled. I also explained that on receipt of their letter I had called in to the store again and the Manager – Simon – confirmed that after checking their system I had definitely been on a 28 / 30 day contract which I had cancelled!


25th September 2014: I received another letter saying I owed £406.27. I again wrote back immediately to explain the situation yet again.


13th November 2014: I received a letter from a company called dlc saying I now owed £435.06 and threatening me with legal action! I did not want to get involved with a debt collecting company so I rang EE / Orange on 17th November. Absolute waste of time – hadn’t a clue what I was talking about. I then decided to go back to my local store yet another 20 mile return trip.


23rd November 2014: I spoke to Simon at the store and after a wait of 30 minutes whilst he was on the phone he explained to me that the problem had now been fully resolved. Luckily his Area Manager had been available and she had personally taken the matter over. Between them it was all sorted and they were very apologetic.


My feeling of relief did not last long.


1st December 2014; I received yet another letter from dlc but presumed it had just been sent out before all he paperwork had gone through so just ignored it.


7th January 2015: Yet another letter from dlc informing me that I owe £435.06 and my account is now being managed by Mercantile Data Bureau Ltd., a subsidiary of Hillesden Securities. They have asked that I contact them to discuss an affordable repayment plan!


Simon did explain to me that there have been horrendous problems since EE took over Orange and I have accepted all of the above both calmly and politely. However my patience is now wearing very thin. I would appreciate it if anyone could please give me advice on what my next step should be. I must admit I am very reluctant to deal with either dlc or Mercantile Data Bureau, especially as I don’t owe a penny, but will do so if that is the only option left open to me. I am quite happy to write to Orange again but would welcome a contact name if possible. Thank you in anticipation.

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Hi Lynn


So you're being splattered with stale Orange squash.


I take it you've had no prior experience of debt purchasers / collectors such as dlc otherwise you'd know it's futile to reason with them. As Hillesden are involved, I presume the account has been assigned [sold] to them, rather than passed for collection. Can you confirm? Either way, you need to tell ee that an error was made in their selling / farming out a fully paid, closed account to a third party. Tell them what you need them to do - reverse everything that ensued from their failure to mark the account as closed and settled in full. Don't talk about compensation at this stage. That can be dealt with later. Do enclose a concise, bullet point history of what you have been put through so far. Restrict it to facts not emotionals.


Say you expect them to rectify within 14 days, otherwise "further appropriate action" will follow. We'll tell you what, depending on the reply you receive.


Head your letter Formal Complaint. That obliges them to respond. Send a copy to Hillesden, adding their reference no. for good measure.


Ignore any more mail from Hilles. for now.


Report back to us. We can talk tough if they won't talk sense.

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Hi Oleg. I did read once that I would be wasting my time dealing with debt collectors that is why I have been trying to sort it through Orange.


The letter I received from dlc stated:- We note we have not received any recent contact from you relating to the above account and this balance remains outstanding. Due to the above, we have instructed Mercantile Data Bureau Ld, a subsidiary of Willesden Securities Ld. to manage your account effective from the date of this letter. Mercantile Data Bureau Ltd would like to give you the opportunity to discuss your account with them before they undertake any action with your account. They will take into consideration your current financial circumstances and outline the many options available to help resolve this matter. Please contact Mercantile Data bureau Ltd today on ....... to discuss this matter and come to an affordable repayment plan.


Obviously I haven't contacted them either. Do I just write to Customer Services at EE, Bristol. The only communication I have had from EE was the very first letter informing me of the price change of my contract in April 2014. All the other letters came from Orange!

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Please read the customer services guidance. Especially, you must always record your calls. You should have done it when you cancelled. you should have done it when you spoke to them again. You had better do it now. You will regret it if you don't

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fkofilee gave you CEO address. Doesn't mean he'll answer personally but increases chances of speedy and proper action.


As Orange / ee are same, hardly matters which you contact.


Just please let us know, for information, whether the "debt" has been assigned or simply passed for collection.


Feel free to post up your letter for comment before sending, should you wish.

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Thank you Oleg, Not really sure what you mean about the debt, sorry.


In a letter from Orange of 25th September Orange asked for full outstanding balance and said that if they didn't hear from me then my account would be sent to a Debt Collection Agency to recover the debt. On 13th November I received the first letter from dlc which said:- We have been instructed by Orange Personal Communications to obtain payment of your balance of £435.06. Unless contact is made, we will pass your file to our Litigation Department. Solicitors may then be instructed to issue proceedings in the County Court with view to obtaining a judgement against you. If the balance is not cleared, this will result in a default being applied to your credit file by Orange Personal Communications which may affect your ability to obtain future credit.


Does this mean that the debt has been passed for collection?

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Thanks for clarifying that Oleg. Just a quick update for everyone. I have sent an e mail to the address that fkofilee recommended which is the EE Executive Office. They have replied that they are going to assign a Case Manager who will contact me directly. Hopefully it will be a successful outcome. I will keep you informed. Many thanks once more.

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Awesome good going... :)


FYI Notice how DLC say about Solicitors "May" Be Instructed...


Cleverly worded threatogram... :p

Let us know how EE Goes for you...


We could do with some help from you.


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group



Receptaculum Ignis


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update. I received another letter from MDB last Tuesday asking me to contact them as my account may be eligible for an early settlement figure by reducing the balance!! I then received the following e mail on Friday from the EE Executive Office.


"Thank you for your email received by the Executive Office, I have been asked to respond on behalf of EE.


I am sorry to read you have received conflicting information regarding the closure of the above account. I could not find a request to close the account and charges have been accruing as a result of this.


Due to the circumstances you have explained in your email I have reviewed the account. I am happy to confirm to bring this matter to a closure, I have cleared the balance and notified Direct Legal Agency no further action is required. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Further to the above, I will request your credit file to be amended to ensure it has no adverse effect on your credit file. Please note this can take between 7 to 28 days to reflect on your credit file.


I trust the action taken has brought this matter to a satisfactory closure."


Hopefully this will finally resolve the matter but I do feel inclined to reply about why this wasn't sorted in the first instance i.e. April 2014 and to ask why I did not receive any replies to my letters which I sent recorded delivery (3 in total). Dreadful customer service.


Thank you all for your help, I do appreciate it.

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