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Bilbo-K

Vodafone - Yet more credit referencing issues**Vodafone folded**

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I have been a Vodafone customer since 2003. Back in September 2015 I asked Vodafone to change my direct debit to another account (apparently they have a record of the request on my account notes).

 

The other day whilst trying to set up new mobile phone account for my 11 year old daughter with another provider my application was turned down following a credit check.

 

I have never had a credit problem so signed up with Equifax to see what was going on

 

It appears Vodafone failed to set up the d/d and consequently my account has been in arrears for several months. At no stage did they contact me to notify me of the situation - clearly that would be too difficult for a mobile phone company!

 

I immediately called up Vodafone, cleared the o/s balance and set up a new direct debit.

 

I asked for the credit file to be cleared. Apparently they will not do this because it is 3 months in arrears.

 

To cut a long story short ( hours on the phone hanging on etc) I have made a formal complaint through one of their customer reps...made so much harder as you cannot do it through their web site - currently undergoing some modification - either that or they can't cope with the volume of complaints.

 

In making the complaint I have advised them that I will begin legal proceedings against them unless I hear back from them within the 5 days that they promise.

 

I have also made a Subject Access Request and have begun the process of complaining to the Information Commissioner – Vodafone are in breach of Principle 1 of the code of practice set up “Principles for the Reporting of Arrears, Arrangements and Defaults at Credit Reference Agencies” agreed with credit industry and the Information Commissioner i.e. Principle 1 is: Data thatis reported on your credit file must be FAIR accurate, consistent, complete and up to date.

 

Given the appalling customer services people have come to expect fromVodafone, I do not expect to hear back on my formal complaint any time soon.

 

I have drafted the LBA to kick off the MCOL process for damages in respect of my financial reputation due to their negligence, my time, extra expense etc

 

Is there anything else I can do?

 

Comments appreciated

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Hi Bilbo-K,

 

Hi vodahelp,

 

I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties you've experienced here.

 

If you'd like any help from me, email me with your details via the Contact us form here.

 

To access the form you'll need to enter the code WRT135.

 

Once sent, you'll receive an automated reply with a reference number. Post back with this so I can make sure I've got it.

 

Kind regards,

 

Lee

 

Social Media Operations

 

Vodafone UK

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Hi and welcome to CAG

 

You do seem on the ball with this so not much input needed.

 

Why didn't VF contact you to tell you the direct debit wasn't being paid? (rhetorical question as they will say, "we sent letters.")

 

You haven't done yourself any favours either as there is also the responsibility for you to check that a DD has been paid.

 

You have proved that by clearing the arrears that you are not a credit risk and as such, I would think that the removal of the bad markers could easily be done however VF would rather pluck out their eyes before doing that.

 

Your error is less than VFs errors therefore the majority of fault should lay with VF and for them to rectify.

 

I assume you made a formal complaint on the phone. It is highly unlikely that VF have marked your file as such so what I would do is submit it again but it writing, sent by snail mail and signed for delivery. Let VF then say they didn't receive it.

Rather than 5 days I would give them 14 days starting the day after receipt. This shows you are being reasonable.


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Vodafone have now resolved this.

 

Having asked for an SAR I was phoned up by Vodafone (Friday 18th March) who wished me to go through security before they could action the SAR. I was then asked if it was because of a complaint - I explained the situation as per my post above.

 

I also said that Vodafone had failed to respond to my complaint made verbally over the phone to a rep (name, time and date of call provided). I also explained that I had sent a 'letter before action' explaining the steps Vodafone needed to take before legal proceedings would be initiated by me against them. Cause of action would be defamation of my financial reputation due to their negligence and wasting my time etc. I also said that under the Civil Procedure Rules (Pre-Action Protocols) Vodafone had 14 days to respond - that meant that I would be drawing up the papers with MCOL as of 22nd March.

 

I was asked what I would be prepared to accept. I said that they needed to update the credit reference agency information about me and that it needed to be done in 48 hours -so allowing for the weekend they have done this - credit file updated as of today.

 

I also said that they could contribute £150 to my annual Equifax subscription which they have agreed.

 

Takeaways from this sorry affair are:

 

1. Keeping accurate records is so important. Even if it is notes of phone conversations with reps (get name date time etc)

2. If you have the records / evidence don't bother trying to sort it out with reps over the phone. Make the complaint, follow up with an SAR and send an LBA - this whole process has taken just under 3 weeks to resolve.

3. If a company does agree to amend the credit file it can be done very quickly - do not be fobbed off with it could take up to 1 month etc.

4. If you dont have the records / evidence etc and the company will not amend the credit file put your side of the story (up to 200 words) as a note to the credit file entry. Lenders are required to take these notes into consideration when assessing credit applications - won't help with automated enquiries.

 

In some ways I feel I have probably let Vodafone off the hook lightly. It is clear they and other companies are abusing the credit reference agencies and stepping outside the codes of practice agreed with the information commissioner.

 

I have been lucky in that I am not in any desperate need for credit and my credit score was still excellent despite the arrears noted on my file

Edited by Bilbo-K

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Well well! That is a turn up for the books. I suspect someone at VF has looked at the account and realised that VF have screwed up royally and decided to settle before it got more serious. Most times VF will treat any threat of court action with contempt UNTIL the papers hit the mat then they pull out all the stops to make it go away.

 

I would suspect your phone conversation unnerved them enough to settle.

 

Anyway, Well done to you for sticking it to 'the man'

 

I will mark this resolved. Possibly with the words 'Vodafone folded' :whoo:


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Hello,

 

I just found this forum after many months of battling Vodafone over the same issues where they have been billing me for an account that I cancelled immediately after receiving the phone (which arrived two months late)

 

I am tracking my Equifax credit score via clear score and following an email to chief exec, I was called with a promise that it would be fixed this month, but I have checked this morning and the missed payment is still there, it also includes that I have made two payments on time (which I haven't, but I am not bothered about this so much).

 

Thus far I think I have:

- Sent them 2 letters

- had live chats

- called about 10 times

- engaged with the ombudsmen however they are also painfully slow.

- Been sent letters by Vodafone of them threatening to sell my debt.

 

I have kept all the records and notes and have quite the pack now, so I am wondering if I need to a SAR or not at this stage?

 

I don't know if Lee may be able to help, or if its not worth bothering and I should just head straight to an LBA? Clearly Vodafone is in breach of its duties to me in terms of maintaining accurate records and data.

 

Bilbo-k - could you possible share your LBA with me on the post (obviously with personal details removed!).

 

This has been going on since November last year, does anyone have a view on what a good level of damages is to request? I was thinking about £500 given all the time inconvenience and stress this has caused?

 

Many Thanks,

 

Howard

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Vodafone [ ]

 

Vodafone House [ ]

 

The Connection [ ]

 

Newbury [ ]

 

Berks RG14 2FN

 

[ 2016]

 

 

 

Vodafoner Ref / Account: [ ]

 

Mobile phone no: [ ]

 

 

 

DearSir/Madam

 

 

 

 

Letter before legal proceedings

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been a customer with Vodafonesince [ ]

 

 

 

On [ ] I requested that Vodafonechange my direct debit details to another account.

 

 

 

On [ ]I had a credit checkcarried out which resulted in my application for credit being declined.

 

 

 

On investigation, it seems that Vodafone failed to set up a direct debit as requested by me on [ ]. This has resulted in my account with Vodafone going into arrears.

 

 

 

It appears that at no stage has Vodafone attempted to contact me and advise me that my account was in arrears.

 

 

 

Further Vodafone have added this arrears information to my credit file with at least one credit reference agency,Equifax.

 

 

 

On being made aware of the arrears, I immediately cleared the [ ]owed and set up another direct debit.

 

 

 

After numerous phone calls and wasted time with customer representatives, I was informed that the credit department would not remove the information from my credit file.

 

 

 

Following yet further calls and wastedtime, I raised a formal complaint with a customer representative [ ]. This was at approximately [ ].She advised me that somebody would respond to my complaint within 5 days. This has not happened.

 

 

Therefore if Vodafone does not respondto me within a reasonable period of time (in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the Civil Procedure Rules Pre-Action Protocols) with asatisfactory proposal to resolve this situation I shall begin legal proceedings.

 

 

 

ActionsVodafone needs to take to avoid legal proceedings

 

 

 

1. Amend my credit files with all the credit reference agencies used by Vodafone by removing arrears information.

 

 

 

2. Make a satisfactory offer ofcompensation for:

 

 

 

· damaging my financial reputation

 

· expenses incurredwith regard to credit reference agencies and other information requests.

 

· wasting my time.

 

 

 

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-------------------------------------

 

[ ]

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You will of course need to state your complaint which is slightly different to mine. I would send the LBA. Under the Civil Procedures Rules which can be found here [not allowed to post link as have insufficient posts] but is on the justice dot gov dot uk site

you will see that there is a general protocol and then specific ones for more 'specialist' causes of action.

Under the general protocol "Steps before issuing a claim at court"

 

6. Where there is a relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should comply with that protocol before commencing proceedings. Where there is no relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should exchange correspondence and information to comply with the objectives in paragraph 3, bearing in mind that compliance should be proportionate. The steps will usually include—

(a) the claimant writing to the defendant with concise details of the claim. The letter should include the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts, what the claimant wants from the defendant, and if money, how the amount is calculated;

(b) the defendant responding within a reasonable time - 14 days in a straight forward case and no more than 3 months in a very complex one. The reply should include confirmation as to whether the claim is accepted and, if it is not accepted, the reasons why, together with an explanation as to which facts and parts of the claim are disputed and whether the defendant is making a counterclaim as well as providing details of any counterclaim; and

© the parties disclosing key documents relevant to the issues in dispute.

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Thanks Bilbo-K, this is amazingly helpful.

 

 

I will get on with this today and post back on how I get on.

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Hi Howard and welcome to CAG.

 

As I see it, you have done enough so don't wait any longer.

 

I would also add to the LBA about being chased for this 'debt' whilst the case is being progressed through the Ombudsman. All collection activity should have stopped on receipt of the complaint. In my opinion, this could be classed as harassment and could be included as part of the court claim.

 

Once court action is started, you must inform the Ombudsman as their participation must cease.

 

I feel your issue deserves a thread of its own however, I will leave it here for you to decide. If you want it moved, let me know.


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Thanks Silverfox,

 

I have drawn it up and sent it today, let's see where it gets me.

 

To be frank, all I wanted was them to correct mistakes but they leave one no choice but to pursue!

 

I will try to remember post how I get on.

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I thought I would update this as some time has passed and I managed to finish up with Vodafone to some degree.

I sent the letter before action via registered post, unsurprisingly, I received no reply.

I had also sent an email to the CEOs office prior and they did eventually reply, and appear after trying a few times to have fixed my Credit Record but would not offer any compensation as was not a Vodafone customer.

Following the LBA, I issued a claim via smalls claim (very simple) and about two weeks later, I did finally receive a phone call (again from the Director's office complaints rather than regular customer services).

They made me an offer, which I negotiated a bit and accepted rather than actually going to Court.

I think clearly the lesson learned is that in my case nothing happened without following through on legal action, although this would have been significantly cheaper for them, had they not got it wrong in the first place!

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Pleased to hear you did get a result, howard :)


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I am having issues with VF myself.

 

 

I have contacted them on numerous occasions asking to lower my bill as I lost my job and couldn't stay true to my bill month on month.

 

 

I was constantly fed with tomorrows

in April I learned that I had a default on my file because I got turned down for full-time employment based on it.

 

 

I have sent in an official written notice 4 weeks ago informing VF that I am ceasing the rights of VF to share my personal subject data on various grounds, my agreement is no longer in situ.

 

 

I have received no response from VF within the required time-frame and have complained to ICO and Communication Ombudsman. During this time I have sent in another letter and received a response saying they will not remove the default off my file.

 

I would like anyone's 2p on the situation.

I am thinking whether I should or should not wait for ICO or Ombudsman to respond,

but more importantly does anyone know if VF has an ability to refuse my official notice under DPA to stop sharing my personal subject data?

 

I would greatly appreciate a response as I am considering following @Bilbo-K steps here.

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if you mean section 10

they have a right to share your details.

you under took a contract

and agreed to their [std] T&C's

as everyone does

nothing wrong there sadly.

 

 

dx


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I think you will find this quite hard but not impossible.

As I see it, you contacted them in an effort to reduce the contract to a reasonable level for you but VF wouldn't hear of it. I bet you did this by phone so you will have no poof of what has been said. VF do not keep recordings of phone calls for very long so itis likely there will now be none. There may be something on the account history showing what you said but that can only be obtained by sending VF a SAR.

 

If you didn't pay anything rather than paying a lower amount (even if they didn't agree to this) then the default will stand. What may help is if they have put the full amount of the debt on your credit file. when an account is suspended or cancelled, the company are therefore not providing a service and as such, should reduce the contract part to a minimum. If you had a 'free' phone then this needs to be paid for and they will unlike reduce that too. If the amount on the default is more than it should be due to added charges and fees then it can be challenged.

 

As to the s10. Even though you have no use of the service and the account was 'cancelled' this does not mean the account is closed as money is owed. By virtue of this, they continue to have the right to mark your credit file accordingly. Only when the contract is satisfied does that permission die.


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