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  • FIRST POST
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 8th Mar 17, 2:11 PM
    • 38Posts
    • 14Thanks
    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 5
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 15th Sep 17, 8:52 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    AbbieA
    Morning Guys,

    I have decided to bring this forum fully up to date with a handy timeline.

    July 14:
    Fraudulent account set up in my name.
    July 15:
    Fraud discovered and immediately reported to the Police and ActionFraud who investigated and provided me with a crime reference number.
    Reported to Vodafone who said they carried out a fraud investigation but deemed there to be no fraud found. They have asserted that the account is still collectable and have applied a default to my credit score.
    I then requested that Vodafone 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, which they refused.
    I also reported this to my bank who conducted their own investigation, determined that the signature used to set up the Direct Debit Instruction was fraudulent and recovered all monies paid to Vodafone.
    August-November 17:
    Numerous attempts to reason with Vodafone. 3 separate fraud investigations were conducted by them and all deemed that there was no fraud found.
    I contacted the Financial Ombudsman who referred me to the Consumer Ombudsman who advised that they were unable to help at this time, I believe due to lack of evidence. Reasons stated as being the DDI matches the address, no fraudulent usage (just normal usage to UK landlines and mobiles) and the handset chosen was a low value handset not typically used by fraudsters.
    December 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 (for suspicious usage in Europe and £100’s in calls to Portugal and Spain) before the fraud was discovered by myself.



    January 17:
    Having obtained this I tried again with the Consumer Ombudsman who advised that I could not reopen an investigation that had previously been closed.
    February 17:
    I then tried the ICO following advice on this forum. I supplied them with all the evidence I have gathered and after several correspondences and they said they will investigate and have written a letter to Vodafone, though I haven’t heard anything since.
    I also sent my first Pre Action Protocol letter, which has never been acknowledged or responded to.
    Around the same time I first engaged with Lee from Vodafone this forum. The whole debacle can be read here but basically no progress was made.
    March 17:
    Follow up letter to the Pre Action letter was then sent, also ignored.
    I was also given the CEO email at roughly the same time so emailed him, which prompted a response saying they will reopen the fraud investigation (having previously carried out 3 fraud investigations and stated that no fraud has been found each time and that they would not open any more investigations).
    April 17:
    I received a letter from the UK legal Team in response to the email (same one posted on here). In it Vodafone stated that this account is part of a wider fraud investigation for which arrests had been made and the case is due to be heard in September. This is their first admission to me of there being any kind of fraud on the account.



    April – September 17:
    Sought legal advice, most common response being that I should wait until the results of the trial.
    September 17:
    I am now concerned that I do not actually have any details of the trial other than the vague mention that I managed to extract from Vodafone after nearly 2 years of denial. I feel that I need to be proactive again and most likely will have to follow through and instigate a court case to get Vodafone to respond.

    I have also contacted Lee again from Vodafone for advice and for details of the court case mentioned by the UK Legal Team (ie date of hearing? results?). I am in the process of drafting a final demand letter before instigating court action and will post it on here and the legalbeagles forum before it is sent.

    Thanks again Guys, Abbie!
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 15th Sep 17, 10:29 AM
    • 15,143 Posts
    • 14,757 Thanks
    Guest101
    Morning Guys,

    I have decided to bring this forum fully up to date with a handy timeline.

    July 14:
    Fraudulent account set up in my name.
    July 15:
    Fraud discovered and immediately reported to the Police and ActionFraud who investigated and provided me with a crime reference number.
    Reported to Vodafone who said they carried out a fraud investigation but deemed there to be no fraud found. They have asserted that the account is still collectable and have applied a default to my credit score.
    I then requested that Vodafone 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, which they refused.
    I also reported this to my bank who conducted their own investigation, determined that the signature used to set up the Direct Debit Instruction was fraudulent and recovered all monies paid to Vodafone.
    August-November 17:
    Numerous attempts to reason with Vodafone. 3 separate fraud investigations were conducted by them and all deemed that there was no fraud found.
    I contacted the Financial Ombudsman who referred me to the Consumer Ombudsman who advised that they were unable to help at this time, I believe due to lack of evidence. Reasons stated as being the DDI matches the address, no fraudulent usage (just normal usage to UK landlines and mobiles) and the handset chosen was a low value handset not typically used by fraudsters.
    December 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 (for suspicious usage in Europe and £100’s in calls to Portugal and Spain) before the fraud was discovered by myself.



    January 17:
    Having obtained this I tried again with the Consumer Ombudsman who advised that I could not reopen an investigation that had previously been closed.
    February 17:
    I then tried the ICO following advice on this forum. I supplied them with all the evidence I have gathered and after several correspondences and they said they will investigate and have written a letter to Vodafone, though I haven’t heard anything since.
    I also sent my first Pre Action Protocol letter, which has never been acknowledged or responded to.
    Around the same time I first engaged with Lee from Vodafone this forum. The whole debacle can be read here but basically no progress was made.
    March 17:
    Follow up letter to the Pre Action letter was then sent, also ignored.
    I was also given the CEO email at roughly the same time so emailed him, which prompted a response saying they will reopen the fraud investigation (having previously carried out 3 fraud investigations and stated that no fraud has been found each time and that they would not open any more investigations).
    April 17:
    I received a letter from the UK legal Team in response to the email (same one posted on here). In it Vodafone stated that this account is part of a wider fraud investigation for which arrests had been made and the case is due to be heard in September. This is their first admission to me of there being any kind of fraud on the account.



    April – September 17:
    Sought legal advice, most common response being that I should wait until the results of the trial.
    September 17:
    I am now concerned that I do not actually have any details of the trial other than the vague mention that I managed to extract from Vodafone after nearly 2 years of denial. I feel that I need to be proactive again and most likely will have to follow through and instigate a court case to get Vodafone to respond.

    I have also contacted Lee again from Vodafone for advice and for details of the court case mentioned by the UK Legal Team (ie date of hearing? results?). I am in the process of drafting a final demand letter before instigating court action and will post it on here and the legalbeagles forum before it is sent.

    Thanks again Guys, Abbie!
    Originally posted by AbbieA
    You know which magistrates court it is, but it's half way through the month. Surely you could just phone the court each day and ask if there are any fraud cases that day?


    Anyway, you'll just have to sit tight.


    The case wont be over for several months if a number of individuals have been charged.
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 15th Sep 17, 10:40 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    AbbieA
    Why sit tight? I feel like the outcome of this case should have no bearing on whether or not the default should be applied to my credit score? I feel I have gathered enough evidence to prove that the default should be removed.

    Please bear in mind it has been over 2 years since I first contacted Vodafone and made them aware of this issue. I have no information about this court case other than that supplied by Vodafone in the letter above, having previously denied that there was any fraud related to this account despite their own notes to the contrary.

    What if the case takes another 2 years? What if the Police have arrested the wrong people? Do either of those scenarios justify the mark against my credit score? I feel they don't.
    • Anoneemoose
    • By Anoneemoose 15th Sep 17, 11:30 AM
    • 1,710 Posts
    • 2,106 Thanks
    Anoneemoose
    I haven't got any advice really as can't suggest anything more than you have already been told. But, OMG, I could scream for you reading this. I hope you get it sorted soon.

    Have you tried Watchdog? I'm sure they had something similar on the last series.
    • AbbieA
    • By AbbieA 15th Sep 17, 11:33 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    AbbieA
    I'm waiting for a resolution first, as that is my priority. I do not want to jeopardise my court case in anyway and, if I'm honest, I'm sick of all this and just want it to end ASAP.
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