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  • FIRST POST
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 8th Mar 17, 2:11 PM
    • 29Posts
    • 11Thanks
    AbbieA
    Taking Court Action Against Vodafone - Remove Default Notice
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 17, 2:11 PM
    Taking Court Action Against Vodafone - Remove Default Notice 8th Mar 17 at 2:11 PM
    Hi Guys,

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place but this is my first post on the forum, moderators feel free to move if necessary.

    I am in the middle of a long battle with Vodafone over a fraudulent account set up in my name back in 2014. This was discovered in July 2015 and immediately reported to the Police and ActionFraud who provided a crime reference number. It was also reported to my bank who, having conducted an investigation, determined that the signature used to set up the Direct Debit Instruction was fraudulent. As a result of this, the bank recovered all monies paid to Vodafone.

    Since then, Vodafone have not accepted that this account was created fraudulently and have continued to send correspondence to an unknown to me address provided by the fraudsters when they created the account. They have also applied default notices to my credit record and have refused to remove them. I have made repeated requests asking them to supply me with details of any fraud investigation conducted, the identification documents and proof of address given when the account was opened and all other information pertinent to the fraud investigation and I have numerous email responses where they have refused to supply me with these.

    In 30/10/16 I sent a letter to Vodafone by recorded delivery advising that I plan on pursuing them through the Consumer Ombudsman and will take legal action if necessary, if they refuse to remove the default notices from my credit score. They confirmed receipt of the letter but refused to remove the default notices or provide me with the information I requested. As a result I contacted the consumer ombudsman who stated that, having previously investigated the account when I was still gathering evidence and subsequently closed their investigation, will no longer investigate.

    On 12/12/16 I made a request for information under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and obtained documents relating to the account. This was supplied on the 23rd of January and showed that Vodafone had been told by my bank that the Direct Debit Instruction contained a fraudulent signature and that the account had been referred to their internal Fraud team numerous times. It also has all my correspondence and repeated requests for further information but specifically does not include details of the fraud investigation or the identification documents and proof of address used to open the account.

    As a result of this I feel I am now left with no option but to pursue Vodafone through a smalls claim court (?) to get them to remove the default notice. I have sent a Pre Action Protocol stating my intent. In my Basis of Claim I assert that Vodafone have been negligent in allowing this contract to be opened with insufficient documentation and have incorrectly applied a debt and default notices to my name/credit score. I further assert that the fraud investigation carried out by Vodafone has been insufficient. I can and have provided evidence to back up these claims.

    So in summary, it’s a horrible situation that has caused me untold stress for nearly 2 years. Vodafone have yet to respond to my Pre Action Protocol letter and have until next week to do so (within the 28 days). I am preparing my next steps either way but wish I had posted on here sooner as I need advice on the following:

    Can a small claim court force a company to remove a default notice?
    Should I be pursuing Vodafone for damages?
    Is there any way to get the Ombudsman to re-investigate now that I have all the evidence I need?

    Any help appreciated guys!
    Thanks, Abbie!
Page 1
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 8th Mar 17, 3:15 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    StopIt
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 17, 3:15 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 17, 3:15 PM
    WOw, Vodafone have pulled a blinder here.


    They get told that an account was opened fraudulently, and proceed to go "lalala not listening"? Not a good look.


    I would have said there's a Vodafone rep that usually pops along to help in threads like these, but I think that's far too gone.


    I can't answer if you can use a court claim to remove a default but you should be pursuing for damages and additionally, if you haven't already, seek legal advice to make sure you get everything in order.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 8th Mar 17, 4:26 PM
    • 15,223 Posts
    • 38,230 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 17, 4:26 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 17, 4:26 PM
    As a result I contacted the consumer ombudsman who stated that, having previously investigated the account when I was still gathering evidence and subsequently closed their investigation, will no longer investigate.
    So what did they conclude when they first closed the investigation? Why aren't Vodaphone following the ombudsman recommendations? Or did they conclude that Vodaphone acted appropriately?
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 8th Mar 17, 6:10 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 17, 6:10 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Mar 17, 6:10 PM
    S0 what did they conclude when they first closed the investigation? Why aren't Vodaphone following the ombudsman recommendations? Or did they conclude that Vodaphone acted appropriately?
    No they didn't conclude that Vodafone acted appropriately, they concluded that it was out of their "terms of reference". Not sure what they mean by that, this is their actual response:

    On checking our records we found that we had set up a case for you in July 2016 regarding the same issue with Vodafone. At this time you were informed that the Ombudsman had made the decision that we were unable to investigate the complaint due to being outside our terms of reference. As this decision was made at this time we are still unable to investigate the case.

    I can't answer if you can use a court claim to remove a default but you should be pursuing for damages and additionally, if you haven't already, seek legal advice to make sure you get everything in order.
    Thanks for your help, do you have any advice on where I should be seeking legal advice? Do I just find a local solicitor through Google and contact them? I don't have a lot of money to invest in this either.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 8th Mar 17, 6:15 PM
    • 4,087 Posts
    • 2,907 Thanks
    glentoran99
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 17, 6:15 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Mar 17, 6:15 PM
    Isnt this a case for the financial ombudsman as it relates to credit files?
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 8th Mar 17, 8:50 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 17, 8:50 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Mar 17, 8:50 PM
    I initially contacted the financial ombudsman who referred me to the consumer ombudsman. Not sure if it's worth trying them again now I have more evidence?
    • Anoneemoose
    • By Anoneemoose 8th Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    • 1,687 Posts
    • 2,064 Thanks
    Anoneemoose
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    I'm not sure the Consumer Ombudsman are right there, when I worked for Orange, this was the kind of thing in their remit.

    You could try the Financial Ombudsman again though.

    Or could you write to the Credit Reference agencies to say they are reporting incorrect information..I don't know if that will be fruitful, but might be worth a go.

    Vodafone's Legal Team really need to get their backsides into gear here. Did you address the letter directly to them, or Customer Service?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 8th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    • 10,279 Posts
    • 10,021 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    Isnt this a case for the financial ombudsman as it relates to credit files?
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    ICO would be responsible for that bit.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 8th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
    I contacted the ICO in early February and was told they would look into it, but have yet to receive a response other than their initial acknowledgement. I'll chase them up tomorrow. For information, my correspondence with the ICO:

    I am writing with regards to an ongoing dispute with Vodafone Limited and would like to request the ICO’s assistance with the following:

    Recovery of personal details from Vodafone that were obtained by criminals and used to set up a fraudulent account in my name;

    Instructing Vodafone to remove the default notices associated with this fraudulent account from my credit file.

    I am concerned that Vodafone:

    is not keeping my information secure and has been sending correspondence to an address used by fraudsters;

    holds information about me that is inaccurate, i.e. debt and default credit notices;

    refuses to provide me with information pertinent to a fraud investigation.

    I have attached the following documents:

    Completed Information Handling Form
    Letter sent by myself to Vodafone formally requesting that they provide me with details of the fraud investigation and the identification documents and proof of address used to open the account remove the default notices and that they remove the default notices from my credit file;

    Vodafone’s records of all my correspondence with them obtained under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 9th Mar 17, 6:56 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    Vodafone's Legal Team really need to get their backsides into gear here. Did you address the letter directly to them, or Customer Service?
    The address I used was:

    Customer Relations Manager
    Vodafone Limited
    The Connection
    Newbury
    Berkshire
    RG14 2FN

    This is the one they give out for formal complaints. I have searched for a direct legal team correspondence address and not been able to find one.
    Last edited by AbbieA; 09-03-2017 at 6:57 AM. Reason: add quote
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 9th Mar 17, 8:06 AM
    • 215 Posts
    • 182 Thanks
    StopIt
    No they didn't conclude that Vodafone acted appropriately, they concluded that it was out of their "terms of reference". Not sure what they mean by that, this is their actual response:

    On checking our records we found that we had set up a case for you in July 2016 regarding the same issue with Vodafone. At this time you were informed that the Ombudsman had made the decision that we were unable to investigate the complaint due to being outside our terms of reference. As this decision was made at this time we are still unable to investigate the case.



    Thanks for your help, do you have any advice on where I should be seeking legal advice? Do I just find a local solicitor through Google and contact them? I don't have a lot of money to invest in this either.
    Originally posted by AbbieA

    In that case, find your local Citizens Advice branch ASAP and get some advice from them.
    • fermi
    • By fermi 9th Mar 17, 8:12 AM
    • 39,175 Posts
    • 46,999 Thanks
    fermi
    http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/

    May be able to suggest an approach to get it sorted on the legals side. Unfair defaults on credit files are a common issue there.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards and Loans boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com

    Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

    IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 13th Mar 17, 12:47 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    legalbeagles

    May be able to suggest an approach to get it sorted on the legals side. Unfair defaults on credit files are a common issue there.
    Hi Guys,

    Just a quick update. Since being recommended the legalbeagles forum I have also posted on there and been given the CEO's email. I have sent details of the case to him. They have also sent me details of a case (Vidal-Hall vs Google) that set the precedent for claiming damages for misuse of personal details, for which I will be seeking legal advice on/representation.

    The 28 days time frame set out in my Pre Action letter is up tomorrow and I have still not even had an acknowledgement, I really thought they would have felt obliged to respond in some way? I have prepared a follow up letter that I will post by recorded delivery tomorrow. In it I specifically mention:

    As your company has placed a "Default" notice against my name, and I have never received such a notice, I require you to substantiate this data at your earliest convenience. You must do this by supplying me with a true copy of the alleged agreement you refer to. This is my right under your obligation to supply a copy of the agreement under the legislation contained within s.78 (1) Consumer Credit Act 1974 (s.77 (1) for fixed sum credit). Your obligation also extends to providing a statement of account. I enclose a £1 postal order in payment of the statutory fee, PO Serial Number *********.

    You must also supply me with a signed true and certified copy of the original default notice and any deed of assignment if the debt was sold on. I would request that this data is provided to myself within the next 28 days, if you are unable to provide this data then I must insist that the default notice is removed from my files as unsubstantiated.

    It is your duty to comply with my requests under the law.


    This was written following research online, I'm not sure how true it is but seems to suggest that if they haven't substantiated their claim when putting the default notice onto my file then it has to be removed. As far as I am aware they haven't, as I have never received such a notice. Is this true?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Mar 17, 1:31 PM
    • 10,279 Posts
    • 10,021 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Hi Guys,

    Just a quick update. Since being recommended the legalbeagles forum I have also posted on there and been given the CEO's email. I have sent details of the case to him. They have also sent me details of a case (Vidal-Hall vs Google) that set the precedent for claiming damages for misuse of personal details, for which I will be seeking legal advice on/representation.

    The 28 days time frame set out in my Pre Action letter is up tomorrow and I have still not even had an acknowledgement, I really thought they would have felt obliged to respond in some way? I have prepared a follow up letter that I will post by recorded delivery tomorrow. In it I specifically mention:

    As your company has placed a "Default" notice against my name, and I have never received such a notice, I require you to substantiate this data at your earliest convenience. You must do this by supplying me with a true copy of the alleged agreement you refer to. This is my right under your obligation to supply a copy of the agreement under the legislation contained within s.78 (1) Consumer Credit Act 1974 (s.77 (1) for fixed sum credit). Your obligation also extends to providing a statement of account. I enclose a £1 postal order in payment of the statutory fee, PO Serial Number *********.

    You must also supply me with a signed true and certified copy of the original default notice and any deed of assignment if the debt was sold on. I would request that this data is provided to myself within the next 28 days, if you are unable to provide this data then I must insist that the default notice is removed from my files as unsubstantiated.

    It is your duty to comply with my requests under the law.


    This was written following research online, I'm not sure how true it is but seems to suggest that if they haven't substantiated their claim when putting the default notice onto my file then it has to be removed. As far as I am aware they haven't, as I have never received such a notice. Is this true?
    Originally posted by AbbieA
    Hang fire ------the above does not apply to a mobile service agreement.

    It only applies to a credit agreement regulated by the consumer credit act, its a service agreement they (allegedly) have with you.

    Also there will be no "deed of assignment" (only a court can request this).

    You should be asking for proof of service agreement, for example, air time bills.

    proof of default in the form of a default notice, and notice of assignment.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 13-03-2017 at 1:36 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
  • Vodafone
    Hi Abbie,

    Thanks for making me aware of this.

    If you'd like me to look into things further, email me via the form here.

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

    As well as stating your issue in the question box, please also quote "MSE Forum".

    Once sent, you'll receive an automated reply with a reference number. Post it on here and I'll check that I've received it.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    Social Media Operations

    Vodafone UK
    Last edited by Vodafone; 13-03-2017 at 7:35 PM.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Vodafone. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 14th Mar 17, 8:38 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    Hang fire ------the above does not apply to a mobile service agreement.

    It only applies to a credit agreement regulated by the consumer credit act, its a service agreement they (allegedly) have with you.

    Also there will be no "deed of assignment" (only a court can request this).

    You should be asking for proof of service agreement, for example, air time bills.

    proof of default in the form of a default notice, and notice of assignment.
    Thanks for your help, I have amended the letter and will post today!
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 14th Mar 17, 8:53 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    Hi Abbie,

    Thanks for making me aware of this.

    If you'd like me to look into things further, email me via the form here.

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

    As well as stating your issue in the question box, please also quote "MSE Forum".

    Once sent, you'll receive an automated reply with a reference number. Post it on here and I'll check that I've received it.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    Social Media Operations

    Vodafone UK
    Thanks for the offer Lee. Unfortunately, you are the third person from 'Social Media Operations' I have spoken to regarding this. I have also had promises from several 'Customer Service Agents (Social Media)' and none have been any use. Vodafone have now also ignored a Pre Action Protocol Letter.

    I will send you the details, as I have done to your CEO Nick Jeffery and your Corporate & External Affairs Director Helen Lamprell, via email. Hopefully I will at least get an acknowledgement.
    • rizla king
    • By rizla king 14th Mar 17, 9:13 AM
    • 2,836 Posts
    • 1,892 Thanks
    rizla king
    Thanks for the offer Lee. Unfortunately, you are the third person from 'Social Media Operations' I have spoken to regarding this. I have also had promises from several 'Customer Service Agents (Social Media)' and none have been any use. Vodafone have now also ignored a Pre Action Protocol Letter.
    Originally posted by AbbieA
    Usual for Vodafone.

    they post on forums to try to make things look good and give the impression that they care, but mostly #### all comes of it.
    Still rolling rolling rolling...... <----- SIGNATURE - Not part of post
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 14th Mar 17, 9:32 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    AbbieA
    If you'd like me to look into things further, email me via the form here.

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

    As well as stating your issue in the question box, please also quote "MSE Forum".

    Once sent, you'll receive an automated reply with a reference number. Post it on here and I'll check that I've received it.
    I have sent the details, still awaiting the automated response though. The main points are:

    I have gathered enough information to present my case to a court following a DPA request that shows that Vodafone have been negligent in allowing a contract to be opened with insufficient documentation and have incorrectly applied a debt and default notices to my name/credit score. I further assert that the fraud investigation carried out by Vodafone has been insufficient and that they have ignored/overlooked the findings of both the ActionFraud and Natwest fraud investigations.

    I have copies of both Vodafone's Siebel and Crystal account notes obtained under the provisions of Data Protection Act 1998 which show my repeated requests for the following information:

    1. Copies of the ID and supporting documents (both proof of signature and proof of address) used to open this account
    2. The fraud investigation carried out by Vodafone, as referenced in both the Crystal Account Notes and Siebel Account Notes provided by Vodafone, in its entirety.

    On pg. 14 of the Siebel Account Notes it is stated that ‘the usage on this account is also normal, normal calls to UK landlines and mobiles, no fraudulent usage’ yet on pg. 17 and pg. 19 of the Crystal Account Notes it shows that this account was referred to the Fraud/Credit & Collections team in June and July of 2014 due to high usage of ‘more than £100 in 1 day’ in Spain and Portugal on separate occasions.

    Pg. 13 of the Crystal Account Notes shows that Vodafone was told by my bank that the Direct Debit Instruction contained a fraudulent signature, but this was not mentioned in any of the notes referencing subsequent fraud investigations.

    I await your response.
    • battyboimatt
    • By battyboimatt 14th Mar 17, 10:02 AM
    • 584 Posts
    • 233 Thanks
    battyboimatt
    Not all DD's have a signature, in fact all that is normlly needed is sort code and account number and then you get a letter confirming the dd is set up. I've never had to sign a form to authorise a DD.
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