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Vodafone have put a default on my credit report and are causing me undue stress and anxiety

due to a phone I had stolen in Barcelona.

 

 

The thieves stole my phone and within a few hours racked up a bill over £2,000 by ringing premium numbers

and putting them on hold to ring the same numbers

- over 900 calls were made.

 

It is clear that my phone was used as some sort of organised crime activity

and there have been many cases in the press of Vodafone lumping other people with bills like this,

only to waive the bill when brought to the attention of the press.

 

I am now at the point of contacting press as this seems the only way Vodafone comes to a fair decision.

 

I have not long graduated and instead of enjoying being young I am beginning to get depressed

 

- I have debt collectors after me, a ruined credit report and no idea of how to get out of this situation.

 

anyone got any other tips on how to deal with this situation or anyone had a similar experience?

 

Forgot to mention that the incident occurred in September 2014,

a default was registered on my report May 2015

and the account was apparently sold on to a DCA in the last few weeks

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Although I'm not entirely sure how to handle this, this is not the first time that we have heard this kind of complaint. If you search on Google you will find lots of reports in the newspapers and on the BBC as well.

 

I have always thought that when frauds are committed like this, they are not really afford against you. They are a fraud against the company.

 

The theft of the phone has been committed against you, but then the phone was used as a device to gain access to Vodafone and to deceive Vodafone into providing a service to people who were unauthorised.

 

I have always thought that it is the telephone company which is the victim of the fraud. The trouble is, that they are bigger than you and you are easy prey. Also, there is an unpleasant culture. It is generally accepted now that the individual owner of the phone should be made to account for the lost money. Frankly, I don't think that that is correct in law. I think the Vodafone is the loser and I don't think that they have any basis for chasing you for the money. They have had money stolen from them and they are trying to get it back from you even though you are an innocent party. If they suffered the fraud as a result of your negligent behaviour then they might be able to see you are negligence. But to hold you as a debtor, I think is entirely wrong in law.

 

The only problem is, that I'm not sure how to go about dealing with it.

 

Another feature of this also is that a great proportion of the money which Vodafone is seeking to recover from you is pure profit. In other words, they are seeking to profit from the proceeds of crime. At the very least, if they were seeking to recover money from you they should be seeking to recover it at a rate which compensates them for any administrative losses. It may be that they are obliged to pay a foreign operator some money – a proportion of the money which is paid up to the premium rate number. But I'm quite sure that a substantial amount the money that they say they have lost, is not really lost, it is simply – lost profit. I don't think that this is recoverable in any event.

 

Now they have sold the debt onto a DCA. You say that it is about £2000. Generally speaking, these DCA's are complete bullies and they don't bother go to court. They just corrupt your life and to you give in and pay money to them. However, in this case we are talking about £2000. I suppose that there is a possibility that the DCA may try to sue you. I think that that would be a very welcome move. It would save you the need for finding a reason to sue Vodafone – though maybe we should put our heads together. I'm sure that Vodafone trying to recover from you the proceeds of a crime which has been committed against them, is unlawful. We simply have to find a way of expressing it as the basis of some legal argument. I say "simply" but it's not that simple, unfortunately.

 

I think that if you were lucky enough that the DCA sued you, then we could mount an interesting defence including the fact that the money being claim from you included an element of profit and that if there was any liability it would only be for administrative losses.

 

I can imagine that the DCA and Vodafone would back down on this very quickly because they would rather keep on making their money from people who don't bother to challenge them and also, I don't think they would like it to come out in court what percentage of the money claimed is actual losses and what percentage equals profit.

 

Please keep on monitoring the thread. We may come up with some ideas. In the meantime, don't panic. I think the best thing that can happen for the moment is that the DCA brings a case against you. Which DCA is it?


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Hi Bankfodder,

 

Thank you so much for your reply.

 

I do believe that Vodafone are aware what they are doing is unlawful

and know that it wouldn't hold up in court as everytime a story like this reaches the press

or becomes prominent online, they suddenly waive the bill saying

'it is clear the phone was being used as part of an organised crime'.

 

 

In September 2015 they finally implemented a policy whereby if you notify them within 1 day

you only have to pay the first £100 and if you notify them within 5 days you only pay the first £500

- something that the government put pressure on them to enforce way back in 2013

but they somehow got away with doing until now; clearly they make a lot of profit from these incidents.

 

The DCA is lowells which I have read awful things about.

If they did decide to take me to court, could I argue that Vodafone should not be enforcing the full bill on me

because of the points you made above (plus additional points)

or would none of that matter as now apparently they do not own this bill any more

(although their name is still on the credit report)?

 

Thanks

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Hi,

Can I ask when did you notify Vodafone that the phone had been stolen. Once they are informed, they should then block the phone.

 

there is a well known [problem] where thieves steal a phone then call a special number that costs loads more than normal.

 

I will do some more checks as your phone was stolen within the EU and there may be policies in place that should have covered you.


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Regardless of the involvement of any DCA, it is still Vodafone which is in the frame. As you have probably seen, new figures about Vodafone show that they are the worst in the industry. The customer service is appalling and even when we allowed their customer service rep onto this forum, it was half-hearted and sporadic.

 

Vodafone pretend that they don't have the resources. I think really, they don't have staff of sufficient quality. They invested resources in better staff then we might get a better deal.

 

Vodafone were enjoying a free customer helpdesk on this forum since 2009 but really all they did was move the complaints off the forum. They don't seem to have reduced the level of complaints and in fact they have gotten worse.

 

Eventually, Vodafone started to muck us around so much that we started to challenge them and eventually we told them if they wanted to continue on the forum that we would charge them a fee. They flatly refused and so we kicked them off the forum. This is a huge company but which act in a small-minded way and want something for nothing and won't give anything back. They betray their customers and they betrayed us

 

I wonder if Vodafone will read this message? I hope they will.

 

As far as you saying that Vodafone probably realise that what they're doing is unlawful – I don't for a moment expect that they do. Actually, I don't for a moment expect that they bother to stop and consider it. They just plough on and they are unstoppable because nobody bothers to try and stop them.

 

If you want to do something about this then we could help you but I think that you would probably have to challenge Vodafone in the Small Claims Court at least in respect of the amount of money that they are claiming from you. I think it would be quite easy to allege that they are claiming excessive amounts of money from you so that they amount to penalties. As far as the other issues as to whether or not they are simply benefitting from the proceeds of crime and whether or not they are the victims and not you? I'm extremely sure of my ground but the problem is that I'm not too sure on what basis one would then challenge them on this in the courts and exactly how to express the arguments.

 

I think the thing to do would be to start on firm ground and that is that you have a contract with Vodafone and there is an implied term that they will not treat you unfairly in terms of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations which are the relevant regulations for a contract which was made before October 2015.

 

I think that you could sue for a very modest amount and see what happened. I don't think it would be straightforward but we will be very pleased to help you. You will be a small claim and I think that the risk of any costs against you if you happen to lose would be almost negligible. It will be interesting to see whether Vodafone would bother to defend against a claim for say, £50. The important thing to do would be to get a judgement against them for a small amount of compensation. If there was a judgement against them which basically agreed that they were acting unfairly then I think that they could be made to stop harassing you.

 

Don't forget though, that these people are complete bullies. They say they don't have the resources to run proper customer support – but I can assure you that they have all the resources they want to try and mount a defence against you and try to smash you in the ground the daring to speak up against them. They've always got money for that.


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