T-Mobile try to pursue sailor for £250-phone bill, but eventually back down

#1
A mobile phone company has sent bailiffs to recover £250 from an Able Seaman after she returned from Libya because they refused to believe she was in the Royal Navy and suspend her account during deployment.

Link
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#3
It is indeed a great shame that a letter was not sent to suspend the account from the outset - possibly this would have avoided all the stress involved in highlighting the issue in the local press & indeed racking-up further mobile call charges ringing UK from Libya.

I always found that switching the phone off & not using it abroad saves being ripped-off.
 
G

guestm

Guest
#4
They won't suspend your contract, I've tried countless times. They will however downgrade it to the cheapest monthly rental and then you just turn the thing off. You're pretty much paying for the handset on a month to month basis so they're not going to give you it for free.

Verdict: her fault.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#6
They won't suspend your contract, I've tried countless times. They will however downgrade it to the cheapest monthly rental and then you just turn the thing off. You're pretty much paying for the handset on a month to month basis so they're not going to give you it for free.

Verdict: her fault.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Erm, Monty, I don't have an account with T-Mobile and am now ex-mob anyway so any special arrangement for the military wouldn't apply but I fail to see how it was her fault.

She was advised by their store in Plymouth to freeze her account – an option available for members of the military – on the day she left and resume it upon returning this spring.
But when AB Brown called the phone company from onboard the Type 22 frigate to carry out the advice, she was told she would need to provide proof she was on operational deployment in the Navy.
Despite having already set sail, she managed to contact her family and send T-Mobile a copies of her identification and wage slips.
I don't see how much more she could have done in light of the advice she was reportedly given by T-Mobile and the subsequent failure by them to "believe" a pay slip, copy ID and even a photo of her in rig as proof of her employment in the RN
 
#7
Most pay monthly contracts with mobile phone include an element to pay for the suppossedly free phone they give you at the start of the contract. You are tied into a 24 or 36 month contract whether you use the phone or not, these phones are not free but the price of them is icluded in the contract. It is not fair to expect the phone company to either cancell or suspend the contract. if you believe that you may be sent to the nasty place and will be unable to use your phone then perhaps a PAYG mobile is the answer.
 
#8
Vodaphone do a rolling contract whereby you only need give 1 months notice to quit. For this you get loads of goodies, no free phone, but a really cheap quite high spec every year. If you want the free phone element of the contract I have, then it's a tied 12 monther I believe.
I much prefer the £10.00 freedom pack deal or the £20 when I was working. You get shit loads of minutes and infinite texts, enabling me to chav talk at will. I annoy all my mates who still work with stupid questions such as "do you want a piss" when they have been on nights.
They have been known to call back at 3.30 am and tell me no.:-D
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#9
When you sign a mobile contract, car rental or house lease you sign to say you understand you will be paying £X per month for however many months it is, for as long as you are in possession of thing you are renting even if you are not using it - you don't just stop paying because you are out of the country.

I'm no fan of mobile phone companies however one does wonder, in light of "Mr Bean & his bloody iPod", why this individual is permitted to talk to the press with another galling non-story.
 
#11
Sorry, have I missed the point?

I presumed from the newspaper report that the armed forces were able to take advantage of a special deal not available to non-mil types so that if they got deployed somewhere hot and sandy or wet and featureless in pursuance of Government policy they could "suspend" their phone usage and not be charged for it.

If that is not the case then it is clearly a case of caveat emptor. On the other hand, if that is the case then she was badly treated and deserves our support (IMHO). The fact that the paper picked up on the story (possibly due to a relative having a whinge on her behalf) and she was then interviewed and the whole sorry tale emerged is hardly her fault (unless subsequent facts suggest differently)

BTW - does anyone know if there actually IS a special deal for the armed forces with regard to mobile phone contracts generally (or specifically in the case of T-Mobile) or is this just a case of disinformation?
 
#13
They won't suspend your contract, I've tried countless times. They will however downgrade it to the cheapest monthly rental and then you just turn the thing off. You're pretty much paying for the handset on a month to month basis so they're not going to give you it for free.

Verdict: her fault.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I beg to differ, Vodafone have done just for someone I know well.
 
#14
BBC Press Release 6 May 2010 said:
...Following Watchdog's investigation the programme contacted the mobile companies to inform them of its findings. They all now say they will temporarily suspend contracts without charge...

In addition, BT apologised and said that their call centre staff gave Watchdog researchers the wrong information and that they will be "reminding our advisors of our policy in such cases." They say that they are happy to consider all individual cases on their merits. It's a change in policy for T Mobile, Tesco Mobile and Talk Mobile. They now say they will temporarily suspend contracts without charge or refund soldiers for the period they've been away. Virgin say they will look at it on a case by case basis but are "looking at formalising a policy to make this process easier." O2 say they have "lifted the requirement to provide proof of service for requests to suspend contracts for a period up to six months."...

However, Talk Mobile, T Mobile, Three and Vodafone all told Watchdog that they will still require proof of employment by the armed forces.
 
#15
I hate to be hard hearted, but it sounds like this young ladies poor admin, in not suspending her contract in time, is the root cause of this issue. The fact that she has used the phone whilst away must have alerted her to the fact that her account had not been suspended.
Remember that the Libyan evac op was at the tail end of the sausages deployment. What excuse would she have used to garner sympathy if it had not taken place.

Whenever my personal admin vortex results in this kind of Snafu i tend to keep shtum about, not go bleating to the Oggy wrapper.
 
#16
This is either all bullshit or there is something wrong with the article which the Herald should know.

Only courts can send bailiffs, so this will just have been someone with no power of collection for anything sent on the hope of frightening and harrassing into coughing up.

If this was indeed bailiffs, then it will have been to court and she will have had a county court judgement awarded against her. She will then have had another 28 days in which to either ask for a set aside or pay. So if it was bailiffs, then she will have refused to pay a ccj and gets all she deserves.
 
Last edited:

Levers_Aligned

War Hero
Moderator
#18
This is either all bullshit or there is something wrong with the article which the Herald should know.

Only courts can send bailiffs, so this will just have been someone with no power of collection for anything sent on the hope of frightening and harrassing into coughing up.

If this was indeed bailiffs, then it will have been to court and she will have had a county court judgement awarded against her. She will then have had another 28 days in which to either ask for a set aside or pay. So if it was bailiffs, then she will have refused to pay a ccj and gets all she deserves.
It is a crock of shit. Dry your eyes, luvvy. Pay up, stop blubbling and learn. As said, the ship had been deployed - i.e. active beforehand in the Med so I kinda think she'd have a handle on if her account was active, by way of her billing. To whine that it's unfair after racking up 250 sheets of charges whilst using the phone and then going to the Guzz Rag with some sort of 'war hero done wrong' mentality just deflates the case for her.

Life's like that, sweetie. Just think, you've got a mortgage and kids to administer one day.

levers
 
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