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Very refund taken back out of account and arrears applied

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Its a bit long


I'm currently fighting Very on behalf of my mother and I'm losing the will to live!!

I'm authorised to speak on her behalf on her Very account.

She bought an iphone as a present for my daughter in 2017 for £602.10


just over a year later it developed a fault.

We took it to the Apple store and they confirmed that it had internal faults that were not caused by damage.

They said as it was out of it one year warranty we should take it back to the retailer and return it under the EU sale of goods act that says faulty goods can be returned within 6yrs. We had never heard of this law but I contacted Very via the online chat to say she wanted to return the iphone. 


The phone was returned,


I contacted Very to explain that she needed the refund asap as my mother needed to buy a new phone from them with the refund.

I was told it would be held for 28 days in the inspection department. 

A usage fee was applied to the account of £120.42 putting her balance to minus £120.42 so that when the original cost of the phone of approx £602.10 was then credited it would then leave the account £481.68 in credit.


The refund went in as agreed, she purchased a new phone with the refund leaving the account £12.68 in credit. This was on 7th march 2019


On March 28th 2019 Very took back the £602.10 refund, then issued a late payment charge of £12 and account interest charge of £3.15

As soon as I saw this I contacted Very to find out what was going on.


At first they said we had damaged the phone and it was not eligible for a refund and that they had sent the faulty phone back to my mother.

I argued that they had had it for 28 days in the inspection department and by giving her a refund they had admitted liability and that a new phone was bought with the money that was refunded back onto the account. After a few minutes Very said there had been an error and that the faulty phone had been sent back by mistake and could she send it back and the refund would be put back in the account again.


I then spoke to Very billing department to make sure she did not get anymore letters for payment as it was Very's error.

They agreed and put the account on hold until the refund was put back in.


The faulty phone was sent to Very for the 2nd time,

I gave it a few days to arrive and then called to confirm that they would do the refund again.

I was told that the refund would be done once the phone was inspected.

I reminded them that the phone had been inspected and about the mix up with the refund.

I was told I would have to wait until it had been through the inspection department and the refund was scheduled for the April 29th.


Since that date she has received numerous letters asking for payment, there has been more debt collection letter fees, missed payment letter fees, account interest added to the account. I have called them a few times about this only to be told they are automated letters, emails and texts and cannot be stopped and just to ignore them as there are no extra charges going onto the account, but the account says different.


It all came to a head on the 29th when I checked the Very account and the refund had not been done.

I called them to find out why.


After some arguments the Very representative said the refund had now been done and left a balance of £168 in debit.

I disputed this as i said surely the account should be £12.68 in credit as this was the figure before the error of the refunds started.

She said she would have to escalate it to the complaints department.


The complaints adviser called to find out what had happened, I explained it all again and that also my mothers credit would be effected.

I was told it would be sorted and that the credit file would be rectified.

She said the 2nd refund was an error because Very refunded the replacement iphone and not the faulty one.


She told me she had 3 days to deal with the complaint.

On the first day she tried to say Very only do a 1 year warranty, I explained about the 6 yr EU Consumer Rights Act, she said she had never heard of it.


On the 2nd day she came back and said we had damaged the phone, again I explained that it had been through 2 inspections with Very, she had been refunded twice and on top of that Apple sent us an email confirming that the phone had internal faults when then inspected it.


On the the 3rd and final day 2nd May she came an and said good news the refund will be done today.

Later in the day I got a call to say Very could not do the refund as the "find my iphone" function was on.

I disputed this because Apple could not get the phone to turn on.

But I found a way to turn it off via the Apple website.

Again I was told good news the refund would be done.


I then get a 3rd call that day to say that Very cannot do the refund until I provided proof of postage.

I started to lose patience at this point and said you know I've sent it back because you have inspected it twice but still I gave them the tracking number.

I was assured this was the end of it and the refund would be done.

I then got the final phone call to say that the refund will not be done for 21 days because the inspections department would not authorise it until then.


I argued that this would be the 3rd time of inspecting the phone and that I can't believe that the 2 departments cannot resolve this.

The customer complaints woman agreed i was right but there was nothing she could do.


My options were  to accept the 21 day wait or escalate the complaint to Very Head Office but it could take 8 weeks to resolve.

I feel like i was being cornered so I reluctantly agreed to the 21 day wait.


I then got a letter by email stating we were happy that the complaint had been dealt with and that we did not wish to take the complaint further.

The letter said nothing about the refund or what had been agreed.


Today I have spoke to the Financial Ombudsman, Citizens Advice Helpline and the Information Commissioners Office.


Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline said Very were breaking the law by making me wait 21 day as all refunds have to done within 14 days.

They gave me a reference number and said they were passing the case on to Trading Standards as Very had broken the law.

They told me to write everything down and not to agree anything verbally but to get it in writing from Very. 


I then called the Information Commissioners Office to ask about getting a hold of my telephone conversations with Very.

I mentioned that they were calling my mum for payment after I had told them to only contact me as it was upsetting my mother and I had been told that they would not chase my mother for payment because the account was on hold. The ICO said that Very were breaking rules by not updating my mums data.


I'm now at a point of not knowing which direction to turn,

do I just sit and wait the 21 days

do I get a solicitor involved which is going to cost money

or do I get a solicitor involved and go for some compensation for my mother and myself.


She is getting stressed and upset as she is 72 and her credit file will have missed payments etc I assume,

I'm getting stressed because I'm been taking time out of work to make numerous calls.


Its cost me time and money to talk to Very during work time and at home on my days off and worst of all I dont like seeing my mother upset especially when she has not done anything wrong...


any advice would be really appreciated 

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stop messing around

get onto the FOS tomorrow and start a formal complaint with them.

get everything assembled ready to be sent off to them.

don't forget to focus on the fact that you wish to be put back in the position whereby she never bought the 1st phone.

and that her credit file on all three agencies websites must be cleaned.

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


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To follow on from the FOS - If Very drag their heels then you can refer it to an Ombudsman. Their decisions are legally binding and act as if you took the matter to court. 


You do actually have 2 options. Come back later today and Ill explain more.


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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Hi I'm online now if you are free to talk



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I have just looked on the FOS website and how to make a complaint. It says that i need to have had the final response letter within 8 weeks. i'm sure the letter they have sent is not the final response letter, i will check later. The actual complaint was only started on the 29th April as all the contact before this date was me going back and forth trying to get it sorted. Very escalated it to a complaint on the 29th April.



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So they will have sent a correspondence saying that they are looking into the complaint. Standard procedure under The FCA guide to complaint handling. 

Thats fine... Will pop by later. 


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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this is what the letter states, after reading it again i think it may be the final response letter


The purpose of this letter is to confirm that whilst you did make a complaint, you considered the complaint to have been dealt with and did not wish for the complaint to be progressed further.

However, if you subsequently decide that you are dissatisfied with our resolution of your complaint you may be able to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

You have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, free of charge - but you must do so within six months of the date of this letter.

If you do not refer your complaint in time, the Ombudsman will not have our permission to consider your complaint and so will only be able to do so in very limited circumstances. For example, if the Ombudsman believes that the delay was as a result of exceptional circumstances.

The website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk and further information about the services the Ombudsman provides can be found at this address.

A booklet detailing their services has been attached for your information.


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So the Very arrears dept started calling my mother this morning

she ignored the calls as I have told her to as

they should be calling me as i have instructed,


she answered the last one by accident and the Very rep wanted to talk her about the arrears.

She explained that i was dealing with it and they should be calling me.

The rep asked her to get me to call the arrears dept.


I dont really want to talk to them as they clearly don't know the situation and i dont want to repeat this fiasco for the 20th time.

not only does this prove that the account is not on hold but that they have still not updated her data to say that they should contact me and not her.


I'm currently printing off all my phone records to see how many calls and hours i have spent trying to sort this.


Do i need anything else before i start the FOS complaint?


thanks again 

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and you shouldn't ever talk on the phone again

writing only from this point in




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


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ok will do.


I've just received the complaint form from FOS to fill out and send back with my evidence etc, so that will be sent this afternoon.


I want to do a subject access request, but in the privacy section it states that i have to call the customer services number,

i dont want to really do this as i have spoken to this department numerous times and its a chore,

but i will if i have to...

is there another was of doing a subject access request?


The information i am wanting is

how many times they have called me and my mother,

how many times i have called them,

the call recordings,



online messages,

postal letters etc... i

s this something i can ask for?


says this in the privacy section:

Your Rights

You have certain rights in respect of your personal data and we have processes to enable you to exercise these rights.

Right of Access

This is known as a Subject Access Request. If you want to know if we are processing personal data relating to you and to have access to any such personal data you can call our Customer Services Team on Freephone 0800 092 3355


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No you dont have to call Customer Services to do a DSAR. Send a letter to HO asking for all information. 


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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too right!!

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


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