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AIBU to expect 'customer service' from a phone company? (long and about fraudulent use)

(16 Posts)
elfycat Tue 19-Jan-16 19:16:18

It’s a saga, but I’ll try to keep it to bullet points.

We are talking about a phone company, part of a bigger group. It begins with a ‘V’.

DH works at sea and while he was away he saw a message from the bank saying that ‘V’ had taken a larger amount than the contract. I took over ‘his’ contract when he got a new phone so he’s the account holder. When he got home he questioned whether or not I’d been doing any charity donations or other weird payable activities. The answer was no. I haven’t.

He called ‘V’ on Thursday, and they said that we must have signed up to a lottery deal, all above board. DH explained that we hadn’t, this was fraud and could they at least block the number from taking any further money. ‘V’ said they couldn’t.

I googled the number 82288 and there are about 3 pages of ‘It’s a fraud!’ as the result. Many people had no idea of how they signed up to it, including people like software engineers who probably have modestly good IT skills. There was a moment when I got hit by an adware thing, which I sorted within an hour by resetting the laptop and buying fabulous antivirus, back in November and I suspect that it might have been something there. When the adware hit I know I backed off from clicking anything and got straight onto my phone to research how to fix it.

DH phoned his bank and discussed it with them. They agreed that it was fraudulent and under the Direct Debit guarantee, and the indemnity claim that protects consumers, the bank refunded us and would claw-back the payment that had been paid out a few days before.

On Friday DH called the police action fraud number and reported it. The person answering the phone knew the number without looking it up, agreed that it is a known fraud and gave us a crime number.

DH called back to ‘V’ and spoke to someone named Chris and quoted the crime number. Chris spoke with his manager and they agreed to write-off the fraud amount, leaving our account clear to pay just the contract. Chris may have been mistaken about his name, his ID number, and in fact the changes made to the account in view of the crime number. It now seems that there is no call to ‘V’ at this time recorded on the account. Chris may not be very truthful.

We contacted ‘V’ to let them know that this would be happening and we agreed that I would call back on Wednesday (tomorrow) to arrange payment. Obviously we handed in our notice to stop the account on one of the calls and were happy to pay the contract for the next 30 days. Yesterday the bank reversal must have gone through and they’ve suspended the account.

DH called this evening, had to go through the whole saga with a new customer service person. They have not and will not remove the fraudulent charges, or pass us onto a manager or fraud department. We’re offering to pay last month’s contract and a pro-rata amount until they stopped our account today.

How do I make someone at ‘V’ pay attention? Before I have to hit my head against a real wall instead of a metaphorical one.

ChampaleSocialist Tue 19-Jan-16 19:19:53

trading Standards and Offcom smile

www.ofcom.org.uk

elfycat Tue 19-Jan-16 19:19:55

If you read that - thanks.

summary. We are getting charged for receiving texts for a bogus lottery. 'V' won't refund this, though the bank have under the Direct Debit indemnity bit. We have a crime number.

We want to pay for the contract bit, but no-one is assisting us at 'V'. They want all of the money.

What can we do?

elfycat Tue 19-Jan-16 19:20:36

Thanks Champale

<makes a note>

bloodyteenagers Tue 19-Jan-16 19:23:08

Twitter. Facebook.
Make it public on their pages. Join if you have to. Will save getting screwed around

stairbears Tue 19-Jan-16 19:24:34

T-Mobile also refused to refund for similar, saying the activity came from the sim and it was impossible to have not. We knew 100% we hadn't signed up. T-Mobile still refused. We concluded it was a stitch up and had an account block on these 3rd party things.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 19-Jan-16 19:27:23

Have 'V' proved that you text the number?

82288 is usually used by Facebook competitions (win an ASDA/John Lewis type competitions) and lotteries, etc. They then text you back and charge you until you cancel.

Ask them for a copy of the record that shows you text it. Have you looked through your own phone contract to see if it appears?

tootiredtoknow Tue 19-Jan-16 19:29:03

Terrible company who's reputation has gone down the pan. Shout loudly on facebook and twitter then leave asap.

elfycat Tue 19-Jan-16 19:30:32

'V' weren't interested in proving it. It 'must have happened' that way.

I called the company (having checked the number wasn't going to charge stupid amounts) and they couldn't see where I'd signed up, were cancelling any further texts. The phone operative soon backed down when challenged to prove my contact with them...

PollyPocket100 Tue 19-Jan-16 19:31:47

There customer service is appalling. I wrote an email to their CEO cc'ing in one of the bodies they're regulated by and got a refund.

PollyPocket100 Tue 19-Jan-16 19:32:44

Used the wrong 'there' on purpose of course as I wanted to use all three in one post ... hmm

Starface Tue 19-Jan-16 19:38:12

Vodafone is A1 crapola. We are also in the middle of a dispute. They randomly charge us different amounts each month with no explanation. Customer service is useless. Different explanation each time. Many broken promises of call backs and fixes. They make records of nothing, including the original contract which they billed us wrongly for and then 'lost'. We've complained in writing as directed by their complaints policy and they have totally ignored us, in breach of their own policy. We are waiting for the day we can go to the ombudsman...

There are loads of articles about how crap they are atm - worst reputation in the industry for customer service, and that is quite an achievement!

Please do complain everywhere you can, but do expect them to ignore you.

We did direct debit charge back and they simply charged us again with an additional fee. I don't want to be cut off, but I expect it back when the ombudsman rules in our favour!

elfycat Tue 19-Jan-16 20:01:02

We've just spoken with the bank and all direct debit activity from 'V' (not Vodaphone) has been stopped and they will only release money after contact with us.

So they either call us or take us to the small claims court. I'll be putting our settlement offer in writing to them - email so I have a paper trail.

(Polly I'm a creative writing student, so I love the 3 there/their/they're thing in your post. Very creative smile)

mommy2ash Wed 20-Jan-16 12:44:18

The same happened my mum a few years back. Your issue isn't actually with v and they won't refund premium texts as then the fraud is put back to them. You need to find a customer service email address for the lottery company and email them threatening legal action through funds taken without a clear sign up process through fraud and deception they will then send you a refund via cheque.

Yoksha Wed 20-Jan-16 13:18:50

This happened to us 2yrs. ago. You've stopped the dd, good. We emailed the mobile phone company complaining about lack of customer services and our dissatisfaction at failing to help us. We also informed them we were contacting police for facilitating fraud against us, and threatened legal action to have our monies refunded in total. Senior management contacted us, listened and refunded everything PDQ.

elfycat Wed 20-Jan-16 20:42:53

Well Virgin have now suspended my account, without any notification, as my bank had clawed-back the last direct debit. We had offered to pay the previous month's contract as well as the notice period's contract amount as soon as this was happening. They knew the claw-back was going to happen and I had agreed to call them back to discuss payments, so suspending the account was a little off and inconvenienced me for a day.

As they've now suspended we have offered to pay a pro-rata amount until they ceased to provide us with their service as well as last month.

Went on Twitter last night. They advised us to have another pointless call with customer services and then sent a link to their complaints procedure. I'm in the middle of a rather long letter.

Meanwhile DH filled in an online complaint to Payphone Plus who have been set up to regulate premium rate numbers and they are investigating our complaint. They can see that we didn't send a text message to sign up for the 82288 'service'. We still suspect it is due to the adware/malware thing.

EE on the other hand were happy to block all premium calls, unless we expressly authorise them. And sent text messages to confirm.

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