How do I respond to Ombudsman?

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I posted this on Vodafone sticky but not sure what a sticky is. Do I get responses from msers?


Was taken in by the hard sell at the end of Nov 2015 and took out an amazing tariff so good I asked for a second number for my child but not after a long discussion about making sure he could't ever go over the 2Gb data limit. I was told that there would be a cap and he could never go over. I was also told that as the account holder I would get data limit alerts... Fast forward May 2016.

Shocked to find 2 astronomical bills and when I lookd closely at my bills it appeared my son went over his data allowance. £487.50 taken out of my account. Obviously I called VF immediately who promised to listen in to the Nov 2015 call. No response for a few months until I was told they couldn't listen into the call... Fast forward... I decided to go to Ombudsman as VF offered half the amount but on principle I decided to leave it with Ombudsman as I felt I should be given all the money.

In the meantime loads of other issues too nuemrous to go into but meant I spent hours and hours on the phone trying to deal with it. Advisers contradicting each other, not knowing company procedures, passing the buck etc.... Nightmare...Finally sorted out by visiting a store!

Ok back to original complaint... Ombudsman came back and said there is no EVIDENCE that I was told there would be a cap. They say:
Quote:
I have reviewed all the information that is available and cannot see any evidence that Vodafone agreed to apply a cap to the usage on the number ending 676. Furthermore, Vodafone advises that its systems were not capable of applying any cap to the service at the time. It is no longer possible to retrieve the call recordings due to the length of time that has passed, Vodafone does not retain recordings for more than 90 days. Ombudsman Services: Communications is an evidence-based organisation; therefore, I must reach a decision using the evidence that is available. I cannot conclude that Vodafone advised the data usage on the number ending 676 would be capped. Additionally, the account notes show that Vodafone sent notifications to the number ending 676 in April 2016 to advise of the high data usage. I must conclude that the data charges are valid.
I was offered £30 for falsely charging for a data 'gift' and £49 as a goodwill gesture!!!!!!! Plus a letter of apology from Vodafone.

So where does that leave me. I know what the South African VF rep said to me. The Ombudsman says I have 14 days to respond to the resolution. I need to have more material facts. I didn't record who I spoke to but since June 2016 decided to use the web chat facility for every interaction so that this could never be held against me. The only 2 things I can think of is:
1. that there was a family cap tariff in Nov 2015 that could have been suggested.
2. They never texted me alerts as the account holder and only texted my son's phone

The onus should be on VF to prove they did text me alerts. They have told Ombudsman that:
Quote:
Additionally, the account notes show that Vodafone sent notifications to the number ending 676 in April 2016 to advise of the high data usage. I must conclude that the data charges are valid.
I am the account holder and the rep said I would receive all alerts too.

Ombudsman say they are evidence based but I'm thinking if VF can't listen into calls then their incompetent staff can say anything and we the custimer have to pay for that. Should there be written notes too? How do we know vodafone sent notifications or is it something they are saying or could make up?

I need advise asap as 14 days are up in a couple of days. I'm so frustrated and angry that a company's advisors can say what they want to get a sale and then not follow through their promises. It all seems very unfair.

I need to know how to respond to Ombudsman.

Thank you in advance.
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Comments

  • Rev
    Rev Posts: 3,150 Forumite
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    From my experience with the ombudsman there's not much you can do.

    I have an issue with Santander. Sent it to the ombudsman after Santander refused the complaint. Ombudsman sided with Santander.


    Santander claim to have sent me numerous letters. I asked the ombudsman what proof they gave that they sent these letters. He said he had a copy of them. I asked if I claimed to have sent them letters would I have needed proof of delivery or would sending him a copy of the letters with a date on be enough proof. He said I'd need proof of delivery. I asked why Santander didn't. His rely was that that's how it works. Says it all really. I called to dispute it. Claimed I had evidence Santander have lied continually and those lies have cost me roughly 2k. The ombudsman said, and I quote 'that's irrelevant and quite petty'.


    The service is hardly unbiased as companies you're complaining against don't need to prove anything but you do.
    Sigless
  • 007james
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    I can't prove that I was in effect missold a service ( capping data) to get the sale. Most people know that vodafone's service has been horrendous although I think they are improving now.

    Vodafone offered me half before Ombudsman decision but didn't tell me that it would be off the table after Ombudsman decision. Can I ask Vodafone to re-offer ? Half is better than nothing as if I go down the route of court it will also be evidence -based.

    Surely I can ask for proof that alerts were sent to both my son and my phone ( 2 numbers, one account). There has to be a way out of this mess otherwise Vodafone advisers will be allowed to say whatever they want with no repercussions.
  • Frozen_up_north
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    Er, why didn't you read the terms and conditions before signing 2 x 24 month contracts? Sales people will often offer almost anything in order to make a sale.

    I looked at Vodafone but didn't like the fact they had no facility to limit overspend, it took all of 3 mins of online chat to find out.
  • Rev
    Rev Posts: 3,150 Forumite
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    As far as I can see unless you can prove it there's not much you can do.
    Sigless
  • mobilejunkie
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    If it's Ombudsman Services you'll get no-where. As for Vodafone, lies and broken promises are the norm.
  • amf
    amf Posts: 483 Forumite
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    If it's Ombudsman Services you'll get no-where. As for Vodafone, lies and broken promises are the norm.
    I agree with mobilejunkie. I've had a complaint with Ombudsman's Service Energy regarding British Gas sending a series of incorrect final bills before I moved from them. Ombudsman has said that the final final bill sent by BG is correct over a period of several months, despite a number of obvious errors. They will be sorry to hear that BG now accept that the bill is wrong :j I've evidence of collusion between the Ombusdman and BG and will be pursuing this strongly.

    The Ombudsman is there to protect the supplier, not the consumer :(
  • mobilejunkie
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    You can't really pursue it - Ombudsman Services don't have a complaints proceedure against themselves. I've had two energy complaints with them and one mobile complaint. Each time they have given the companies the benefit of the doubt, accepting whatever they say (regardless of how ludicrous and plainly incorrect it is) and largely ignoring my own information. They are a limited company there to protect their own profit, prevent criticisms of themselves and shield the companies they are supposed to hold to account.

    Unlike CISAS and the FOS who take their roles seriously, they are appalling.
  • boatman
    boatman Posts: 4,699 Forumite
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    CISAS were useless for me, couple years ago ee put the prices up, I said I was leaving, ee said no, went to CISAS, they said I had continued to benefit from the service so accepted the changes, joke, I complained to CISAS, how was that accepting!!!
  • mobilejunkie
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    Well, in fact I used them for two complaints against ee. Both times ee ignored my formal complaints and as soon as I went to CISAS ee conceded everything, including full compensation. It is possible that it was ee rather than anything CISAS actually did which was then potent, though given their attitude or total disdain up to that point I also conclude they had some respect for the Ombudsman even though they didn't for their customers.
  • d123
    d123 Posts: 8,630 Forumite
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    boatman wrote: »
    CISAS were useless for me, couple years ago ee put the prices up, I said I was leaving, ee said no, went to CISAS, they said I had continued to benefit from the service so accepted the changes, joke, I complained to CISAS, how was that accepting!!!

    I used CISAS when EE put the prices up around 4 years ago, CISAS found in my favour and allowed early termination, I think I was even awarded some compensation as well iirc.

    I found them professional and easy to deal with, perhaps it's down to how you present your case.
    ====
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