Vodafone unexpected data usage

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jimwa36
jimwa36 Posts: 4 Newbie
Hopefully someone can help.


My direct debit for my four mobile phones one for my wife, myself and our two teenage sons with vodafone was approximately £48 per month but noticed a payment going out of my account on the 19/02/15 for £849 contacted customer services to be told that one of my son's (15 years old and autistic) phones had gone over his data usage to the sum of £671 surely there must be some mistake?


Explained to customer services that my autistic son barely leaves the house and we have Wi-Fi and they informed me that he must not have disabled the data roaming so he may have thought he was connected to the Wi-Fi but he was actually using 3g having looked back at previous bills they averaged around £60 a month I cannot understand how this difference can be so great? My wife and I both receive texts from Vodafone if we near our data usage but looking at my sons phone he has received no texts to this affect.


When I took out the plans for my two children I asked if it would be possible to set limits on the children's phones as they were 14 and 15 at the time and did not want any unexpected bills and it was agreed by vodafone customer services that this would be done as the children were both under the age of 16 but when speaking to customer services was told this was not possible? I cannot believe that while having a £48 direct debit in place my son would be able to run up a £671 bill and no one from Vodafone has contacted me to inform me that this was the case?


I went to my bank and asked them to cancel the direct debit and have the money taken by Vodafone returned to my account under the direct debit guarantee which states "if there are changes to the amount, date or frequency of your direct debit the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed." A change from £48 a month to £850 is a considerable change and Vodafone made no attempt to contact me to inform me that billing amount would be changed?

I asked vodafone customer services to cancel my contracts and was been informed that cancellation charges will be added to the account? Making the outstanding bill almost a thousand pounds which is almost double the annual cost of the mobile contracts.


On the 21/02/15 received a text from Vodafone stating that I still had not paid my bill and to contact this no. when I contacted the no. the only options I was presented with was to pay my full bill or pay 10% and set up a repayment plan.


I filed complaints on Vodafone's complaints page on the 19/02 the 25/02 and the 27/02 as I had received no contact regarding the complaints and finally had a call from Vodafone on the 01/03 explained the situation and was told that it was impossible that it had been agreed that my children's phones would be limited as they could not do that! if that is the case I argued that I was miss-sold my contracts, the customer services rep explained he would find the recording of the call and review to see if that was the case, I received a call approximately a week later stating that they had been unable to locate the call but they were still looking and would get back to me. The week after that I received another call stating they had been unable to locate the call when I was sold my contracts so they could not prove that the contract had been miss sold but were willing to take 10% off of the bill as a good will gesture I said I was willing to pay the contract amount and the cancellation charges but not willing to pay for the excess data usage.


Just received a letter stating that if I do not pay the £1036 outstanding bill Vodafone will pass this on to a debt collection agency.
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  • globalds
    globalds Posts: 9,431 Forumite
    edited 4 May 2015 at 10:08PM
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    There is a vodafone representative on this site ..I will post a link in a few minutes ..He should be better at helping you out than the not so perfect customer service team on the end of the phone


    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/member.php?u=791417

    read the contact details and also place a link into the email of your post on MSE
  • DCFC79
    DCFC79 Posts: 40,598 Forumite
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    Why aren't you on Tesco Mobile network, the bills would be capped and save you money.
  • flashg67
    flashg67 Posts: 4,005 Forumite
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    Cancelling the direct debit is probably a bad idea, even if you dispute the charges - it puts you in default and will affect your credit rating.
    When I was with them, Vodafone used to text when my bill was due - did you not look online to check - the direct debit shouldn't have been a surprise - the bill is produced in advance of them taking the money.
    Rather than blame Vodafone, perhaps you need to study the bill and data usage - it is possible (even likely) you have actually used the data, and the best way to sort it out is to discuss with Vodafone, rather than denying any possibility you owe the money and refusing to pay. You seem surprised they want to charge to cancel your contracts - you signed up for a set period, which has to be paid up, including arrears, to cancel the contract.
    The problem is that it is you who has run up the bill - it is your contract, and you chose to give the phone to a child.
    I do sympathise as I have been in a similar situation, but,IMO, you're going about sorting it in the wrong way.
  • robbies_gal
    robbies_gal Posts: 7,895 Forumite
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    as abo ve do not cancel a direct debit all that will happen is that it will be passed on to a debt collection agency

    u should say youre paying in protest and then go through compaints dept

    although i cannot see you getting anywhere if u give children phones youve got to expect they could sometimes go over
    What goes around-comes around
  • keith1950
    keith1950 Posts: 2,597 Forumite
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    Why oh why do people come on here blaming everybody else except themselves and expect to get out of paying what they owe?

    If you can't trust yourself or your kids get truly capped tariffs. Ring and ask to set up a payment plan for what you owe....otherwise the way you are going you will end up with your credit files trashed.

    Why should the rest of us responsible users suffer higher prices because of your own shortcomings.

    Did you get it in writing that these contracts had a limit set on them....

    Why do you throw in the ' autistic ' word... to get sympathy? All the more reason to have him on pay as you go.

    Man up and pay what you owe and save your credit rating.
  • mobilejunkie
    mobilejunkie Posts: 8,460 Forumite
    edited 5 May 2015 at 9:28AM
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    A regular event with the usual response.

    Contracts are a blank cheque book - especially where smartphones are involved. Taking them out and handing them over the children is asking for situations just like this. Even adults often slip up.

    If you haven't used the data you have a case. If you did, then you pay like everyone else. It's called choice and responsibility - the responsibilty is understanding what you're signing up to and ensuring that whoever uses the facility stays within the parameters you are happy with. Smartphones in particular have features which make it easy to stray - but there are also useage apps to ensure you stay in control and know what's going on rather than waiting for the direct debit to go out (obviously not even bothering to check the bills beforehand) and then cancelling the contract and incurring a wrecked credit history for the next six years, being chased by debt collectors and feeling aggrieved when being charged for reneging on the contract before its minimum term is up.

    There is absolutely nothing stopping you ensuring that your son doesn't exceed the contract limits for the rest of the contract, leaving the only issue the payment of what he has (assuming he has, which you can check) used.
  • jimwa36
    jimwa36 Posts: 4 Newbie
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    globalds wrote: »
    There is a vodafone representative on this site ..I will post a link in a few minutes ..He should be better at helping you out than the not so perfect customer service team on the end of the phone




    read the contact details and also place a link into the email of your post on MSE


    Thank you for your response unfortunately as a new user to the forums unable to cut and paste link.
  • custardy
    custardy Posts: 38,365 Forumite
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    jimwa36 wrote: »
    Thank you for your response unfortunately as a new user to the forums unable to cut and paste link.

    MSE has no control of your emails.
  • jimwa36
    jimwa36 Posts: 4 Newbie
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    A regular event with the usual response.

    Contracts are a blank cheque book - especially where smartphones are involved. Taking them out and handing them over the children is asking for situations just like this. Even adults often slip up.

    If you haven't used the data you have a case. If you did, then you pay like everyone else. It's called choice and responsibility - the responsibilty is understanding what you're signing up to and ensuring that whoever uses the facility stays within the parameters you are happy with. Smartphones in particular have features which make it easy to stray - but there are also useage apps to ensure you stay in control and know what's going on rather than waiting for the direct debit to go out (obviously not even bothering to check the bills beforehand) and then cancelling the contract and incurring a wrecked credit history for the next six years, being chased by debt collectors and feeling aggrieved when being charged for reneging on the contract before its minimum term is up.

    There is absolutely nothing stopping you ensuring that your son doesn't exceed the contract limits for the rest of the contract, leaving the only issue the payment of what he has (assuming he has, which you can check) used.


    "Contracts are a blank cheque book - especially where smartphones are involved. Taking them out and handing them over the children is asking for situations just like this. Even adults often slip up." interesting if you had a £50 overdraft facility with your bank would they allow you to go £800 overdrawn? I don't think so.

    "the responsibilty is understanding what you're signing up to and ensuring that whoever uses the facility stays within the parameters you are happy with." since I only agreed to the contract on the understanding that my children's bills would be capped then I thought I was doing the responsible thing if I had known that the bills were not capped I would not have accepted the contract.
  • jimwa36
    jimwa36 Posts: 4 Newbie
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    Thought I may get some reasonable suggestions from my postings? But apparently from reading your responses it's my own fault for providing my children with mobile phone contracts and being miss sold these contracts interesting.
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