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Rebeleye

Three Network chasing after unpaid bills for service not rendered

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Need a bit of direction on an issue with Three Network.

 

Just before the lockdown, my church bought a MiFi dongle to be used for streaming our service to Facebook.

The device came with a 3 Data SIM which was contracted for 18 months at 11 GBP a month.


First week of using it to stream was an absolute disaster as the network was absolutely piss poor.

We had to go find other alternatives and discontinued using the dongle after several attempts.


We wrote to 3 and told them what had happened, and that they should see what they can do for us as it was a contractual agreement.

First payment in the meantime had gone out of our account via Direct Debit ending March.

We then were compelled to cancel the direct debit till the issue was resolved and offered to pay 1 GBP a month till they got back to us.

 

A couple of weeks later they wrote to us saying due to COVID-19 there's been a back log and that we should chat them online, this same chat was offline for the longest time on their site for some reason, we couldn't get through to them either.

 

They reiterated the fact that due to the SIM been a contract they'd ordinarily not be able to cancel.

We wrote back to them and emphasised to them the fact that we are not getting what we signed up for and that there's no point keeping up with the agreement or the subsequent payments.

 

Just this morning we've received another mail from them in the post saying that they'd forward the unpaid bills to a debt collector if we don't pay for the last two months, having not even addressed our issue of poor and non existent service in the first place.


I feel they're using a heavy hand tactics here as;
1. They were not able to provide us the service we signed up for. 
2. By cancelling the direct debit and registering our complaint we made it clear to them that due to point 1 above we are absolved of any obligation to them.
I would like to find out from you all what our options are at this time.

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Need a bit more clarity on the point about them not providing the service you paid for.

Did the dongle pick up signal but failed to allow access to the Internet?

Or did it fail to even pick up any signal?

Did you try it in another location, ie outside or a few miles away?

 

Just trying to a certain where the fault was, i.e. Hardware, network, or attempting to use it in a location of no coverage. 

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What is the mobile signal like there on 3 for a smartphone? if difficult to get signal it adds weight to your complaint.


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and don't be scared of powerless debt collector..they DCA's are NOT BAILIFFS.

 

pers I think you did right

 

i'd stop payments all together

the service was useless

they cant bill you for something that didn't even work.

 

did you send the device back or they didn't supply it?

 

dx

 


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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On 06/06/2020 at 14:43, jacktheband said:

Need a bit more clarity on the point about them not providing the service you paid for. Did the dongle pick up signal but failed to allow access to the Internet? Or did it fail to even pick up any signal? Did you try it in another location, ie outside or a few miles away?

 

Just trying to a certain where the fault was, i.e. Hardware, network, or attempting to use it in a location of no coverage. 

 

The device was placed inside our church, the only place it could be to be honest, on a busy corner in Edinburgh, 9 Lorne Street.

The dongle picks up signal alright. But the Internet/Data connection was absolutely rubbish.

 

Prior to us signing the contract in the store, we got told by the sales guy that there was decent signal in the area where we'd be using it, think they're obligated to check first on their system before selling.

Now I don't know whether he lied or was just bluffing

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On 06/06/2020 at 15:42, dx100uk said:

and don't be scared of powerless debt collector..they DCA's are NOT BAILIFFS.

 

pers I think you did right

 

i'd stop payments all together

the service was useless

they cant bill you for something that didn't even work.

 

did you send the device back or they didn't supply it?

 

dx

 

Thanks DX.

 

The device came together with the data SIM from a 3 retail shop in Edinburgh, we couldn't return it as COVID-19 wouldn't allow them accept returns at the time, which got us missing the 15-21 day window for returns.

 

I'd wait a second letter from them and hopefully they do respond to my follow up on the complaint.

Wouldn't want to do it on the phone or chat them online as these usually bounces straight off the grid to India.

 

If it turns out to be another threatening letter I might just go to their Twitter/Facebook page and whatever media and even the Ombudsman 

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18 hours ago, brassnecked said:

What is the mobile signal like there on 3 for a smartphone? if difficult to get signal it adds weight to your complaint.

Quote erratic. Signal keeps bouncing off and then on to be honest. 

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There is a thing called performance to contract and if you cant return the item and that is the only reason you are still subject to their conditions then you arent bound by the rest of the contrcat as they have failed to allow you to retun the dongle.

 

Not the same as a breach of contract nor a repudiation of contract either

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I worked for a mobile phone company and unfortunately the contract is yours.

The policy is that if you get the contract online then you receive the equipment you have 14 days from receipt of the equipment to decide if you want to keep the sim or not.

 

If you got the sim in-store and signed a contract then as soon as you walk out the door the sim and it`s term of contract is yours.

 

It appears on your initial statement for help that this is what has happened.

Every mobile phone / sim contract is the same with every network and yes they can chase you for the money.

 

If it has gone to a DCA (Dept Collection Agency) you will be liable to their costs as well.

When it gets to the stage of a DCA then all communication will be through them and not your mobile network as the DCA will have bought the dept from the mobile network. 

 

I have duplicated this on to both FB and CAG.

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a dca has zero legal powers to add or do anything, they are not bailiffs.

 

the OP reported the item not fit for purpose within 30 days. 

nothing further to pay.

 

 


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Quote

If it has gone to a DCA (Dept Collection Agency) you will be liable to their costs as well. No you wont

When it gets to the stage of a DCA then all communication will be through them and not your mobile network as the DCA will have bought the dept from the mobile network. Not necessarily depends if the debt has been assigned or whether they act on collection only

 


Andy


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Hello Andy, 

I worked for a mobile company for 13 years and I dealt with calls like this all the time. 

As like my previous message

I retired from my job 2 years ago 

 

A mobile contract is legally binding whether verbal or paper.

The trial period is there to allow the customer to have a cooling off period and last time I worked for this company the cooling off period was 14 days.

 

During this time the customer connects the equipment and the sim then the customer calls CS to register the sim and activate it.

Whether it be a mobile phone or a data dongle it`s the sim that identifies and connects.

 

The customer decides during this time (14 days) that he or she is satisfied with either the phone or data sim on the quality of the network and signal.

 

Customer say`s that he found the signal quote :
"First week of using it to stream was an absolute disaster as the network was absolutely piss poor".
Why did he not cancel then which was well within the 14 day period !

 

By default the customer can run the sim for as long as they wish to check the network and to be happy with the signal.

The day before the end of the 14 day period the customer can contact the phone company either by phone, chat, email, friends phone or phone shop to cancel.

 

Because there are so many ways that the customer can contact the company there is no excuse that the customer failed to cancel.

 

Stopping or limiting the DD does not help as it makes the matter worse. 

It triggers a default action and starts collection proceedings. 

 

The phone company does their best to resolve the problem. 

Firstly I worked in customer service with business customers then moved on to tech support that dealt with signal and masts and mapping that involved masts that like all electrical equipment develop faults.

 

These faults trigger a fault action and an engineer is sent out in a very short time to correct.

When customers call advising that they are having a signal problem and want to close their contract.

The area where the sim is used is checked and signals are sent to the masts to check for faults.

 

There is a timescale of how long the customer is without a service and by default the customer is then allowed out of the contract.

It is not in their best interest for a phone company to provide a bad service in fact they thrive on good service.

They do this with policies and procedures to protect the customer always.

 

There is a saying " you can make a customer happy some of the time but you cannot make all of them happy all of the time"

 

All mobile phone companies have the technology to provide a good service and are continually overseen by Ofcom the UK's communications regulator to meet the best standard possible.

 

I hope that this helps with Rebeleye with his question.

 

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wrong..the item was not fit for purpose.

the customer is entitled under various acts of consumer law to a full refund and contract cancellation if this is done within 30 days.

 

 


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Hi shalamar138 and thank you for that in depth response

 

I appreciate you may have had great experience behind the technical issues of the industry...but we are only interested in the customer satisfaction and the legislation that protects consumers.

 

We are fully aware of the Consumers Rights Act and the Consumer Contracts Regulations Act and cooling off periods which offers this protection...I simply responded to and corrected your two points above on how DCAs work and the assignment of debt or the collection of debt.

 

If there is a fault or dissatisfaction with the product...its the company's liability to correct it...not pass it off or flog it off to a DCA...and trash the consumers credit files along the way.

 

You dont pay for a service that does not work or satisfy.....or if you do more fool you...end of.

 

Andy


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Thanks for that Andy.

You are right and I think it comes under the "fit for purpose" flag.

 

You would be surprised on how many customers try to lie under this flag to try getting out of their contract.

The system can be checked and to see the type of signal that the customer is getting and there is found "no issues". 

 

A lot of customers for example do not realise that sometimes it is not the service provider at fault but the server that they are connecting to.

 

With FB for example it may depend on the time of day you use it meaning when you log into FB when the servers in America are very busy and this causes them to run slow and the result is that automatically the customer thinks it`s the network and signal at fault but really it`s a slow FB server.

 

We ask them to do a signal scan by way of a broadband speed tester and wvolla it has a good signal. 

I hope others can see this and give a speed tester a try. 

Unfortunately I cannot name these tools but you can find them on a search.

 

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Just a quick update on this post. Got the text message below this afternoon. 

 

"The balance due to Three has been passed to CRS. Click the link to pay £32 by using Ref 3JAN...." 

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ig and nore

report the text as spam and block them.

 

 


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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What are the chances of this messing credit file if any, now or in the near future.

 

Just so I know what I'm dealing with when it comes to that point.

I also intend to write to them one last time about this unresolved complaint and how they've manage to escalate it to DCA.

If they refuse to reason would you advice pushing it higher with the ombudsman? 

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why is it one your credit file when this was for a church..a business..

 

 


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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I personally used my credit for this purpose and contract taken in my name 

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Contacting 3 network will not work as the debt has been passed on to a DCA.

You need to contact the DCA and sort it with them.

Confirm the balance owing on the a/c with the DCA and pay it all off.

 

If you pay off the balance the DCA will transfer the details back to 3 Network.

You then press for a refund and if it is verified you had a poor service you will be refunded.

All the time the debt is hanging on it will invariably affect your credit file, hence pay off the debt and claim it back afterwards. 

 

If the DCA is legit they will confirm the outstanding bal and their business address details incl tel number by letter and you can cross check using a search engine online then call them back to verify.

 

You would not receive emails or text messages from a DCA as they would need hard copies and a paper trail in case they need to take the matter to court.

 

I note on a prev reply from dx100uk that its possible junk and this would be correct.

 

If you have received a letter then it will have a letterhead and you can cross check their details as above.

 

If you decide to contact the ombudsman at this stage they will ask if you have tried to resolve with the DCA and if you tell them you have not contacted the DCA then they will refer you to the DCA to resolve.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Please take adhere to my prev advisories and this advice.

PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO CIRCUMVENT THE CORRECT PROCESS as this will take longer to remedy.

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you don't need to contact any DCA..EVER.

never contact a DCA by any method.

never ever pay a DCA anything

 

a DCA is NOT A BAILIFF

and has

absolutely ZERO legal powers on ANY debt no matter what it's type.

and they most certainly CANNOT take YOU to court unless they OWN the debt.

 

and at this stage they don't as three are their stated client.

 

ig and nore them totally

 

the item was not fit for purpose 

i would be escalating this to the CEO via email ASAP.

and no it should not be effecting your credit file.

if it does or has 

you sue three under failure of contract court claim


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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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@dx100uk Many thanks for this. I'd keep you updated. 

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Would Ombudsman be a bit annoyed if is genuine ongoing complaint and 3 involve DCA whilst unresolved?


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

 

The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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