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URGENT: AIBU to panic?

(61 Posts)
PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:13:38


I never knew that a mobile phone contract could make me so anxious.

I had a sim only contract with o2. Last year I went on holiday for about 4 months and I didn't cancel the contract because direct debit payments had been set and I was happy to pay even if I wasn't using the phone just to keep my contract going.

It seems that there was an issue with my account and I was they were unable to take the payment.

When I returned and tried to re-activate my account, they refused and said that my details were with a "third party" and since they had already disconnected my number, they didn't want the payment.

Fair enough! I was busy with other things and I simply switched to a new provider and never thought about it again.

Today I checked back into my o2 online account (because I wanted to see what my old number used to be) and I saw that I still have a payment outstanding. confused

I am not comfortable with this because it just looks really bad.

My DH has now terrified me by telling me the third party was likely a debt collection agency and this stuff is now on my credit report.

My question is, if it was a debt collection agency, why haven't they contacted me in all these months?? Why haven't o2 contacted me??

And is this really serious or am I worrying over nothing?

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:14:15

Sorry about the slightly incoherent language but I really am quite stressed!

Ajaney Thu 29-Aug-13 23:16:19

Do an online credit check with or similar.

Can O2 not tell you who the third party is?

Blissx Thu 29-Aug-13 23:18:04

Why don't you contact them? You can also check your credit rating with the three main companies if you are worried about debt collection but, seriously, you shouldn't be panicking on third hand information from your DH. Calm down, talk to the phone company and take it from there. Remember, everything can be fixed.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:18:14

I have moved since this happened and my number has also changed.

I am concerned that some debt collection agency has been trying to contact me for a year and I have been unaware.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:19:01

I am switching employers soon and I worry that a negative credit report with debt having gone into collection will ruin my chances.

AlyssB Thu 29-Aug-13 23:19:33

YANBU, but if I were you I would ring O2 again and try and get to the bottom of it. The person you spoke to before didn't sound very helpful, just ask the to explain what happened, what the consequences are etc. maybe if they are adamant they've passed it to a 3rd party ask for their details and speak to them. If the 3rd party have bought the debt rather than been employed to retrieve it it could be that if it is a small amount it's not worth chasing, could cost more than its worth.

Tuon Thu 29-Aug-13 23:19:37

It's cheaper for O2 to just write if off and sell it to a debt collection agency than chase you for it.

Debt collection agencies buy accounts buy the thousand. They do statistical analysis to see who is most likely to pay and what they will respond to. You may not be contacted for some time.

O2 should be able to tell you who it was passed to. Failing that as O2 are crap at customer service, try searching your credit file. If there is a default it will give a company name. You can then contact them and pay it off.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Aug-13 23:21:42

Well it sounds like O2 have sold your debt on. I don't know why they haven't been in contact, maybe you slipped through the system or missed some post or something when you were away.

But it's honestly not worth panicking over. Get a credit check and find out if it's on your record. If yes you should also be able to find out who now owes the debt. If no, write - yes, a letter - to O2 and sort it out.

But honestly it's not something to worry about. Equally you should sort it out and not forget about it again.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:22:30

I tried searching my credit file but something went wrong with the registration and I have to wait for tomorrow morning and speak to their customer services before I can see anything. This in itself is ringing alarm bells. Grr.

Binkyridesagain Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:03

Write a letter to O2 asking them for all details regarding your old account and any outstanding balances on that account, make sure you send it recorded delivery, so you have a record and also state in the letter that you would like a reply to this within a set time period. Keep a copy of the letter.

Also get records of your payments to that account.

If a third party, debt collectors, contact you whilst waiting for a reply from 02, tell them that you are in dispute with the owed amount, you have contacted O2 and are waiting for a reply from them, note this contact. The debt agency should put a hold on the claim long enough for you to get a reply.

Keep a record of all correspondence, note down everything, including what was agree over the phone, who you spoke to and the date and time of the calls. All letters print out and send by a secured method of posting.


PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:56

Will something like this cost me a job?

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Aug-13 23:25:25

Are you on the electoral roll at your new address? If so, you would know if you had any ccjs which is all most employers are interested in. Even then it's often a self-declaration rather than something which is actively checked, but then it has been a while since I worked in the financial sector so I could be out of date.

Either way, no point in panicking.

Tuon Thu 29-Aug-13 23:25:26

What's industry is the job in?

If you're in banking it could be an issue. I know Northern Rock, Barclays and Santander have issue with it.

LazyMonkeyButler Thu 29-Aug-13 23:25:36

That's urgent in your world? Wow.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:25:51

I will call o2 again and ask who the third party is. If they don't tell me, then I will find out when I check my credit file anyway.

It was an honest mistake sad I never knew something like this could turn into a big deal.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Aug-13 23:26:21

What sector is the potential new job?

Binkyridesagain Thu 29-Aug-13 23:27:33

Don't phone them, write a letter, you need hard evidence that you are trying to sort this out. Phone call recordings frequently 'get lost' so you can't use them as proof.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:28:10

If I had a CCJ against me, wouldn't I know confused

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:28:43

That is the disaster- it's a job in finance.

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Aug-13 23:30:10

Again, are you on the electoral roll at new address? Because then its much more likely you would know if you had a ccj.

MollyBerry Thu 29-Aug-13 23:33:16

What company did you use to check your credit report as there is more than 1 credit agency. is free if that's not the one you tried already.

You wouldn't know if you had a CCJ against you if they couldn't find your address because you'd moved.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:33:31

No, I don't think I am.

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:34:38

Is it harmful in any way for me to check my own credit history?

PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:40:40

I meant does it count against the credit rating to check your own credit score?

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