Bits and Pieces

Monday, December 27, 2004

Vodafone Sucks

A couple of years ago I bought a mobile phone from Carphone Warehouse on a 12-month Vodafone contract. I kept the phone for a year and then moved over to O2. The problem is that I forgot to cancel the Vodafone contract, and I assume it automatically renewed. I had a standing order with Vodafone so they could debit my bank account every month.

Since I didn't own the phone anymore I was only paying the line rental, but because I'm absent minded and inattentive I don't check my bank statements regularly and I didn't notice the money going out.

I finally noticed the standing order a few months ago, after Vodafone had taken over a year's worth of line rental from the account (totalling about £130). I cancelled the standing order and forgot all about it until Vodafone called in October to ask why they weren't getting paid. I made a weak attempt at making myself out to be the injured party, and claimed that I'd cancelled the contract when I replaced the phone, but they didn't buy it. I gave up that approach and told them to cancel my account.

I was surprised a few weeks later to get a red bill from a debt collection agency for £50 - several month's worth of line rental - to settle my account. I called the agency but the guys on the phone are trained to do anything to recover the money so there was no point fighting it. I decided to cut my losses and pay the bill.

Last month I got a bill in the post direct from Vodafone for £0.00. I have no idea why I got it, but I forgot all about it until about an hour ago when I checked my back statement online and found a standing order for a little over £26 on the 22nd December. From Carphone Warehouse. I've only used Carphone Warehouse once, and that was to buy the Vodafone mobile. I've cancelled the order, of course, but I don't know who to call to get it sorted out. On current form I'll just wait for a huge bill to come through the post and just find a solicitor.

For readers in the UK - never use Vodafone or Carphone Warehouse. Their customer service is awful beyond comparison.
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