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  • FIRST POST
    • civyas1
    • By civyas1 15th Apr 19, 8:55 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    civyas1
    Vodafone stole 2000 from me! HELP!
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 19, 8:55 PM
    Vodafone stole 2000 from me! HELP! 15th Apr 19 at 8:55 PM
    Here is the story:

    1. I had an iPhone and paid 40 per month to Vodafone for a contract. The minimum period had ended so I was on a rolling contract that could be ended any time at that point.
    2. In 2015 this iPhone was stolen from my car. I informed the police and Vodafone. I asked to block the line and end the contract. They said yes.
    3. I was going through the bank account that paid the bill for this phone two days ago and to my horror they have been continuing to charge me from October 2015, when I reported the theft, to the current day. This means I have paid for 43 months of service that I should not have. Total cost= 1720. Vodafone have admitted that they have record of the call in October 2015 where I reported the theft and asked to cut the line to the stolen mobile.
    4. I phoned today and complained about this issue above to Vodafone. CS rep was initially very apologetic, admitted they had made a mistake and said they would refund. Made me hold the line and went to check with her manager. Came back and suddenly said no refund could be issued. This was because:

    - Why had I not checked my account and reported the issue earlier? I explained that the bank account that pays for the phone is a business account, with lots of low cost transactions flowing through it. Due to an unrelated fraud on my account I was forced to comb through every payment may from the account and spotted this issue. I feel this is a non-issue anyway. I reported and cancelled straight away so this is their incompetence. Onus should not be on me to then repeatedly check whether transactions had stopped. I did my bit when I reported the theft and asked for the contract to be ended.

    - They apparently got the impression from the call in 2015 that I wanted to keep the phone number and allege that I said I would replace the phone myself and keep the number by using the SIM in the new phone. This is BS because (1) the phone was stolen. How could I have continued to use the number, when Vodafone admits that they knew the phone had been stolen (with SIM inside as my whole handbag was stolen) and that they have no record of sending a replacement SIM. (2) They can trace no activity against the cancelled SIM/number. So either way their story does not stack up.

    After ages of arguing, they said no refund would be issued and that they would write to us to confirm this within 14 days. To me, this is essentially like Vodafone has stolen the money from my account. I did my part and phoned and notified them as soon as the phone was stolen. Everything that has unfolded from that point on was a result of Vodafone failing to do their job. They have essentially taken money from my account without my consent for a service that was not provided.

    I am furious and looking at all avenues to get a refund. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Can anyone suggest next steps? Legislation? Precedents? I am willing to take this up with the Ombudsman and even take legal action if necessary.

    Thank you in advance!
Page 1
    • mobilejunkie
    • By mobilejunkie 16th Apr 19, 7:01 AM
    • 8,069 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    mobilejunkie
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:01 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:01 AM
    Well, the basic moral is that bank statements should be checked rather more often than once every four years. Someone in business should be at least as diligent.

    You could sue if you can prove (reality and not wishful thinking) that Vodafone agreed to cancel the contract four years ago. The Ombudsman isn't available for buiness accounts. Otherwise, it's down to your own negligence and (any) Vodafone goodwill. At least you can offset it against your tax bill. Maybe you need a new accountant.

    Your headline is as accurate as your attitude as to who is really at fault.
    Last edited by mobilejunkie; 16-04-2019 at 7:03 AM.
    • Enterprise 1701C
    • By Enterprise 1701C 16th Apr 19, 7:13 AM
    • 21,201 Posts
    • 219,416 Thanks
    Enterprise 1701C
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:13 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:13 AM
    I'm sorry, but we always check every detail of the bank statements. Yes, they have a lot of payments passing through, but it is amazing the amount of things we have picked up that shouldn't have been there.

    If I ask specifically to end a contract I check the statement for that payment to ensure that it has not been taken. Might be worth considering for the future.
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 16th Apr 19, 9:28 AM
    • 12,825 Posts
    • 9,597 Thanks
    neilmcl
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:28 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:28 AM
    It's hard to believe someone with a personal bank account not checking but it's even more difficult to comprehend someone running a business hasn't reconciled their business account in 4 years. That's the most basic of accountancy tasks.

    Your next step is to make an official complaint followed by contacting the ombudsman.
    Last edited by neilmcl; 16-04-2019 at 9:31 AM.
    • redux
    • By redux 16th Apr 19, 9:35 AM
    • 19,034 Posts
    • 25,765 Thanks
    redux
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:35 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:35 AM
    How could I have continued to use the number, when Vodafone admits that they knew the phone had been stolen (with SIM inside as my whole handbag was stolen) and that they have no record of sending a replacement SIM. (2) They can trace no activity against the cancelled SIM/number. So either way their story does not stack up.
    Originally posted by civyas1
    The other replies say you should have noticed, but that doesn't justify not being allowed to resolve it later.

    I think these are the strong points of your argument. They have records, you were talking about stolen, they may have cut off the SIM but in any case you obviously couldn't use it, and they didn't replace it.

    In my experience of Vodafone, albeit very limited, they find it hard to be reasonable. They 3 times cut off a UK PAYG SIM too early after the last use (3 to 9 weeks, 3 times in 4.5 months) not in accordance with their stated T&C. Also Vodafone Germany simply refused to replace my German SIM or refund the credit, which is illegal under German law. They claimed to have already sent a replacement on an earlier request, but my brother and his wife never saw it.

    I gave up on both those cases, which cost me about 12, trivial compared to your cost.

    Do you have a final response from their actual complaints team, or just verbally from the ordinary customer services so far? If only the latter, raise it formally as a complaint.

    Once it's the former, you could go for either Ombudsman or legal action. If legal action first, you can't go to the Ombudsman. If Ombudsman first, you could still go for legal action afterwards if you wish.

    Meanwhile I suggest you do a data subject access request, get recording or transcript or notes of the calls in question.
    • mobilejunkie
    • By mobilejunkie 16th Apr 19, 9:36 AM
    • 8,069 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    mobilejunkie
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:36 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:36 AM
    It's hard to believe someone with a personal bank account not checking but it's even more difficult to comprehend someone running a business hasn't reconciled their business account in 4 years. That's the most basic of accountancy tasks.

    Your next step is to make an official complaint followed by contacting the ombudsman.
    Originally posted by neilmcl
    Unless I'm mistaken, the Ombudsman won't consider a business account.
    • Paul_DNAP
    • By Paul_DNAP 16th Apr 19, 9:48 AM
    • 448 Posts
    • 558 Thanks
    Paul_DNAP
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:48 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 9:48 AM
    Unless I'm mistaken, the Ombudsman won't consider a business account.
    Originally posted by mobilejunkie

    Communications Ombudsman will take complaints from Domestic customers and Small business customers (less than 10 employees) - I get the impression the OP is a very small company and/or self employed.
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
    • bengalknights
    • By bengalknights 16th Apr 19, 1:02 PM
    • 4,547 Posts
    • 1,673 Thanks
    bengalknights
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 1:02 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 1:02 PM
    Did you pay via Direct Debit?

    If so you could envoke the DD guarantee as service not requested/cancelled.
    • Broadyx
    • By Broadyx 16th Apr 19, 1:08 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    Broadyx
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 1:08 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 1:08 PM
    How have you or your accountant done your accounts for the last few years without reconciling any transactions?!

    That being said, if you have your final response you could see whether you are eligible to approach the ombudsman depending on the size of your business:

    https://sme.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 16th Apr 19, 1:36 PM
    • 12,825 Posts
    • 9,597 Thanks
    neilmcl
    How have you or your accountant done your accounts for the last few years without reconciling any transactions?
    Originally posted by Broadyx
    And how has the near 500 per year mobile phone expense not been noticed when filing your accounts.
    • Louisdf
    • By Louisdf 16th Apr 19, 4:39 PM
    • 568 Posts
    • 665 Thanks
    Louisdf
    Doing an indemnity claim would result in the account showing as in arrears which would impact on the OP' s credit file.
    • macman
    • By macman 17th Apr 19, 1:01 AM
    • 43,238 Posts
    • 18,406 Thanks
    macman
    Why didn't you just ask them to IMEI-block the phone, disconnect the SIM, and reissue a replacement SIM with the existing number? You presumably had to replace the phone?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 17th Apr 19, 8:23 AM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 759 Thanks
    Herongull
    It sounds like you would have a reasonably strong case in the Small Claims court if you want to go down that route.

    The stuff about it being your fault for spotting the mistake earlier is complete rubbish. They are not allowed to take money out of someone's account once the the contract has terminated.

    If they used that as one of their main reasons for not refunding you, this may indicate that they haven't a leg to stand on.

    This type of court case is decided on the balance of probabilities so it isn't like you need absolute proof. You just have to convince the court that your version is more likely than theirs.

    Consider the ombudsman first if you are allowed that route or if not the Small Claims court.
    • Peter999
    • By Peter999 17th Apr 19, 2:43 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 645 Thanks
    Peter999
    There's a story today on the Daily Mail very similar to yours.


    EE have agreed a refund after confirming that the SIM wasn't actually used, you could mention this to them :


    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/experts/article-6929163/ASK-TONY-adult-son-quit-mobile-phone-deal-got-1-800-bill-kept-charging.html
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