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Due to misrepresentation I ended up with a mobile bill in excess of £800 for two months usage. The phone came with a freebie package offering 1 gigabyte of download per month free of charge. The supplier, mobiles.co.uk, in writing, told me that once the freebie finished after 3 months, I could download 1GB of data per month for £4 per gigabyte when in fact it was £4 per megabyte. Based on the £4 per gigabyte I entered into a contract with Orange via mobiles.co.uk in Nov 05. This was all done over the internet and I never received or actually signed any contract. Their T & Cs were on their website an were never sent to me at any stage.


This misrepresentation landed me with a huge bill and obviously I could not pay the £800 and eventually Orange handed the debt over to a DCA despite me contacting Orange explaining the circumstances and offering to pay at £120 per month until I was able to catch up. For Orange it was all or nothing and they were not interested in the fact that the contract had basically been mis-sold from the outset! In July my phones got disconnected.


The issue now is that I have a default registered against my name although at no time did I receive a default notice. I have been paying the DCA the same amount that I would have been paying Orange as per my subscription.


Although I will be taking mobiles.co.uk to court over this to claim compensation for incorrect info I am unsure whether I can get the default removed. Mobiles.co.uk have acknowledged that they made a mistake but only paid part of the outstanding balance of £800 saying that when I realised that it was incorrect I should have stopped logging onto the Internet.


At the time I assumed that it was just a clerical error and that it would be rectified. In fact they did organise with Orange that I would stay on the free Gigabyte download from April onwards but I was still liable for payment for the remaining £365 for data download in between.


As the contract was misrepresented, in essence I feel that there was no contract, secondly mobiles.co.uk should be liable for the outstanding balance handed over to the DCA, thirdly they should arrange with Orange to have the default removed when it goes to court. Lastly as I had to pay £20 each for the 2 phones to be transferred to another network could I claim back these charges because if I knew that I would be paying £4 per megabyte download I would never have entered into a contract with Orange as there other options open to me?


Do you feel that I have a reasonably strong case? I do not object to paying the normal usage subscription for the time that the phone was connected and usable.

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I'd really love to say yes for so many reasons... but I can't. The get-out is that Orange are not responsible for statements made by their sales agents. If anyone mis-sold the contract, it was mobiles.co.uk, and they have admitted this. They're suggestion that you should have realised something was wrong is a fair one, but I doubt any judge would accept 'clerical error' as a defence on your part to keep up the volume of data downloads.


Regarding your default - this is not a CCJ, and simply Orange saying you've not paid your bills. This is not a contract regulated under the CCA so you don't get a formal 'Default Notice' - complete with wording mandated by the Consumer Credit Act. The default can only be removed by Orange, or by getting a Judge to force them to do so, but as your action is against a third party, this will not follow on or can be incorporated into your action.


You do have a case, but not with Orange, and this is the weakness that will stop you achieving what you want, unless you bring them into your action (but as this is English law, I'm unsure if this is possible in the Small Claims track).


I really doubt you can repudiate your service contract in the way you hoped - and with hindsight 3UK would probably have been your best bet for this kind of data bandwidth. Still on the money angle, I cannot see a problem in letting mobiles.co.uk argue the point, and taking some of the financial strain.

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Thanks Buzby for a most informative reply. My grudge is not against Orange but against the agent for misrepresentation and it is the agent that I will be taking to court.

My subscription ran from the 20th of each month till the 19th of the following month and I would only receive the bill at the end of the month at which stage I would have downloaded data for the several days in the following month's period. Although I contacted them and advise there was a problem, initially I contacted orange and only when I got feedback did I contact mobiles.co.uk and explain what had happened. They told me that they would look into it and it was only on the 19th of the following month that they informed me that a mistake had been made. I still have it in writing from them regardng the cost of the download. At no time was I told to stop downloading. My initial contact emails specifically stated that I was looking for a download package as at the time I had the option of contracting to Adams phones at £30 per month.

The only thing that annoyed me about Orange is that when I made an offer to pay over and above the normal subscription whilst the issue was getting resolved they turned me down flat stating that they wanted the full outstanding amount in addition to my subscription and this I could not afford. I continued to pay the normal subscription but the £800 then went beyond the 3 months thus invoking disconnection and a default being placed on my file due to the actions of their agent.

What gets me is that if you run a business and you have self employed agents working for you and that agent agrees for instance you changing utility supplier, it is almost impossible for you to get out of the contract because they were acting on your behalf or representing your company. Pity it does not work the other way around. I think companies should be responsible for the actions of their agents. Perhaps then they would vet them more closely.

This is the only default I have ever had against me and if it was my fault I would hold up my hands and accept my fate, but it this instance it was not. As my contract with Orange is no longer valid, what right does a CRA have to hold my info because it is not in the public domain like a CCJ. The other course of action is to request that my file at the CRAs is manually searched as opposed to automatic credit scoring.

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There was a time Orange were pretty good at resolving issues amicably, but France Telecom came in as new owners and the mantra 'show me the money' became the goal.


You are quite right, why should they not be held liable for the actions of their agents? The issue is effectively resolved in that you are signing up to an Orange contract which takes precedence over any statements made by agents - clearly they were well-meaning but wrong, but since your contract is with Orange, you have to prove THEY were in error to get anywhere with this.


HOWEVER, Orange - even quite recently - have been happy to remove defaults like these when there is a clear indication the problem was not solely due to the user, so copying in Orange to your dispute with the dealer may pay dividends later.


Why is your Orange contract 'no longer valid'? If it has been prematurely ended, they will have loaded early termination fees which disadvantage you - I'd want them to revisit that and recalculate. The mechanism for enforcing a manual credit file search does not work in every case. Summary searches can be obtained that will miss this, it is only when a full search is requested with the manual flag be shown.

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Thanks for that. Once I have paid up the arrears I will contact Orange regarding removing the default. Hopefully by then the court case would have gone through and producing this as proof may help my case to have the default removed.

The Orange contract ended in mid October 2006 so I was only billed 3 x £60 although I did not have use of the phone on subscription. As I had purchased an Orange PAYG sim card I could use the phones until the contract expired. I then switched to Tesco paying Orange a £20 fee on each phone to switch networks.

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