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ayjayoh21
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Debt collectors

  • Around 18 months ago, my Father in law had problems with charges to his account after getting his first ever smart phone.  He couldn't remember any of the details to access his account.

This was resolved by emma_c, however after multiple messages recently to look into the issue I am yet to receive a reply

After not using any virgin services for 18 months because of this, he has now received 2 letters demanding payment. 1 from virgin and one from their nominated debt collectors. The first letter states  "given that you only recently signed up" (he didn't)

And "monthly rental charges" . . . For what?

Payments were taken from his bank account without permission, and he therefore cancelled the direct debit knowing he had no services as he has switched providers.

Could somebody please look into this. Thanks

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Anonymous
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Re: Debt collectors

"and he therefore cancelled the direct debit"

did he also contact VM to cancel the contract. cancelling the DD will not cancel the contract
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enlli
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Re: Debt collectors

As @Anonymous states, cancelling the direct debit does not cancel the contract and will eventually lead to this situation.

You will be liable for payments and whilst not cancelled the debt will keep rising.

I will escalate this to the team but be aware they don't normally handle these sort of account problems.

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ayjayoh21
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Re: Debt collectors

"Did he also contact VM to cancel the contract"

What contract?

Until Oct'18 he was on pay as you go, where payment was taken retrospectively each month by DD for calls and texts. No fixed charge. 

He got a smart phone and naively turned on data which accrued a £3 per day charge as data was not part of his original plan. Given ongoing account issues at the time, VM acknowledged his error and cancelled the amount owed.

Roll forward 18 months after this complaint was resolved, and payments started being taken from his bank account. May & June  Once he realised, and knowing he had no contract with VM, he cancelled the DD. 

July, August and September payments supposedly being missed and VM wrote to him demanding payment for a contract he 'recently signed up to.

Within 10 days he has another letter from the appointed debt collectors. 

He is 80 years old, hasn't been a VM customer for almost 2 years and is being threatened with bailiffs.

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Anonymous
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Re: Debt collectors

PAYG would have a contract. If it was taking DD then it was likely a 30 day rolling contact. PAYG would require manual topup and would just stop working when out of credit.

What you are describing doesn't;t match a PAYG but a contract
ayjayoh21
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Re: Debt collectors

Thank you.

The letter states

"As your services have now been fully disconnected, we have applied your monthly rental charge for the remainder of your contract period. This amount has been added to your overdue balance. Given that you only recently signed up to your contract term, this amount has significantly increased the value of your overdue balance and the update balance is reflected above"

In may and June £7 per month was taken for this 'monthly rental charge' (no clue what is being rented)

The DD was cancelled, and VM obviously believe they are entitled to £7 per month under the terms of this contract (we have no clue what they are)

July August and September payments (for what?) have now gone unpaid, and the demand is for £21. The subsequent debt collectors letter is for £21.

Basic maths indicates nothing has been added to the 'overdue balance' and the amount hasn't 'significantly increased'

As a pensioner, he is in the fortunate position that he can afford to pay the £21, but being principled he will not pay for something he has not requested or received.

 

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enlli
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Re: Debt collectors

The team will have to look into his account, because nothing seems to make sense.

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ayjayoh21
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Re: Debt collectors

Thanks Enlli - what makes it more concerning is the wording of the letter.
The first line -
'We have been unable to contact you regarding the outstanding balance' - How have VM tried? This is the first letter he has received, and the SIM has been inactive for almost 2 years as it was removed to prevent any further data charges being accrued.

3rd Para "Given that you only recently signed up to your contract term" -
Payments were taken from his account in May & June, so it would be assumed this contract he supposedly signed up to was around April/May - 18 months after he removed the SIM and stopped using VM. As @acpyberax stated, it may have been a rolling contract he was on, but given the line has been inactive, charges would not be expected.

The letters from VM and then bpo collections, have caused him considerable stress and worry, he is now scared of answering his front door in case it is debt collectors. Not great for the mental health of an 80 year old man.

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ayjayoh21
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Re: Debt collectors

Thanks acpyberax, it may have been a rolling contract he was on, if the phone wasn't used, he didn't get charged.

The SIM was removed almost 2 years ago and until this demand letter he had no contact with VM since January 2019 when the original issue was resolved and the complaint closed.

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Jodi_S
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Re: Debt collectors

Hi ayjayoh21,

 

Thanks for posting on our community forums. Sorry to hear that your father in law has now received a debt recovery letter over this matter with his mobile plan.

 

I will need to take a further look in to your father in laws account for you. As the account is not in your name we will need to pass security first and foremost.

 

I will pop you over a private message so I can look in to this matter for you.

 

Kind regards Jodi