Father In law had several mobile phone contracts


My father in law passed away last month. Myself and my husband have been sorting out his finances and we're quite alarmed to find several direct debit payments leaving his account for mobile phone contracts. 
He had 1 mobile phone, a very basic one which was used for emergencies only, like if he needed help when he was out etc. 
After some investigation we have discovered he had 3 contracts with Three, one for the phone he used for emergencies and 2 which were sim only contracts. One of which was used the day he got it in 2017 and not since and the other was never even put in a phone. 
There was also a direct debit payment to Vodafone. This account was used for 1 and half weeks in 2017 and never since. 
I remember when he took out the Vodafone contract. He couldn't get on with the phone so took it back to the shop. They accepted the phone back but it seems the direct debit was never cancelled. 

My father in law was 84, he has several health problems, was almost deaf, used a scooter to get around, had heart problems and dementia when he passed. 

Three have offered us £100 as a good will gesture although over the years £1400 was spent on the 2 unused contracts. We strongly believe these were missold to my father in law. He was vulnerable and feel he was taken advantage off. I have questioned why three let him take out new sim contracts when he had one already with no usage but they said they do not question customers on this. 

Vodafone are investigating why he was being charged but have basically said because he has passed away we can not prove that he had took the phone back. 

My father in law relied on pension credit to live and it makes me angry that Three could take advantage of him and probably other vulnerable elderly customers. 

Three customer services have been less than helpful, and have told me to take the case to the financial onbodsmam. 

Has anyone got any advice on if and how I carry on fighting for what I believe is wrongdoing. 


  • Ms_Chocaholic
    Ms_Chocaholic Forumite Posts: 12,482
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    It might sound harsh but if he had so many health problems including dementia and you said he was vulnerable why didn't you help him sort out his finances when he was still alive.
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till the End
    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
  • chljoe
    chljoe Forumite Posts: 6
    First Post
    edited 6 August 2022 at 12:24AM
    We did most things for him. Applying for benefits, day to day bills, even going to the bank to get money out etc but we never asked to look at his bank statements. There was no letters/phones/SIM cards when we cleared his belongings. We didn't know anything about the payments until we saw them on his statement after he past away. 
    Also, just to add he was never in financial trouble. He always paid his bills, had money for shopping etc and lived within his means. 
  • bobster2
    bobster2 Forumite Posts: 271
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    How much was the Vodafone direct debit for each month? If it really was pay monthly including a phone - and the missing phone is really the issue - then they should at least be able to refund you for everything after the first 24 or 36 months (however long the contract was) because after that the phone is paid for and you wouldn't need to return it when cancelling the contract after that point.
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