by orange_r_bad Investigator
Investigator

Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

Back in October 2012 I called Orange during the last month of a 24 month contract and asked to pay the final amount due and get my PAC code as I was starting a new job and decided that a three phone (with the feel at home use abroad) was better for my needs so I paid the contract up and was given a PAC code, but when the three phone came I liked the new number so decided to just use it, so called up Orange to cancel the PAC code and told them to terminate the contract as I had already paid it off. So at this stage the contract was fully settled, or so I thought.

I received my three handset and sim at the end of October 2012 and started using it, I sold the old Orange handset to a phone recycling company and cut up the sim card. I changed address after starting my new job and didn't return to the address I had the Orange contract at for approximately 8 months. At this point I found 'bills' from Orange and letters from a debt collector (Lowell) claiming that I had missed payments on the Orange contract and that the account had been put into default. At the time Orange were most unhelpful and essentially refused to tell me how this had happened and refused to call off the debt collector. I paid off Lowell as I was worried about CCJs etc and then sought to try to get Orange to correct the situation.

Only now, after a matter of over 5 years after complaining to the customer complaints team have EE explained to me why this happened. They said that when I called to cancel the PAC code the operator had left a note saying I wished to cancel the PAC and go on a rolling contract for £31 per month. Now this is just blatantly not true - I have told them to listen to the original call and they would hear this is total nonsense and look through the old bills they generated and they would see there was no use at all on the phone (I had sold the handset and cut up the sim), however they say they cannot see the old bills and cannot listen to the old call.

So essentially they are saying that despite having paid up the contract, the fact that I had no use for the sim (as was using a new three one) that I requested to continue on a £31 per month rolling contract that I did not use and did not pay for just for the hell of it. This makes absolutely no sense and surely if this was the case I would have called and cancelled the rolling contract rather than continue to have a contract that I didn't use that I was getting default notices for. I had the three contract from the end of October 2012 for 2 years until switching to O2 and have never missed a payment with either of them and can show that I was using the three contract from the expiry of my Orange contract at the end of October 2012 and that there was no use on the Orange contract. Orange are refusing to remove this default from my file as they say their 'evidence' is the note on my account from the operative despite the fact it would make absolutely zero sense for me to have done this and they claim they cannot listen to the call/check the bills to verify my version of events. Does anyone know if call centre operatives in the cancellations departments work to targets to retain customers who call up to cancel, as the only reason I can think of for this comment on my account is that the operative needed to meet a target and decided to go rougue and continue the contract.

A customer complaint team member recently sent me an email saying they sent various letters and texts in January 2013 (after having cut off outgoing calls in December 2012 and incoming calls in January 2013), before totally terminating the number in February 2013, however as I wasn't living at that address and had cut up the sim card I didn't receive either of these.

 

 

They have added a default date of June 2013, despite the fact that they are claiming the missed payments started in November 2012 and indeed they had fully terminated the number by February 2013. I have tried to get them to remove the default as this obviously should never have been recorded as one/at least update the date of default to the date they actually claim payments were missed but they have so far refused to do either (or rather instruct Lowell to update this data).

 

From the ICO guidelines on defaults it says that other circumstances that may lead to a default are (among other things) "the provider takes steps to cut off the service" which surely would have been in Feberuary 2013 if they fully terminated the contract at this date.

 

So currently I am in the position of EE refusing to instruct Lowell to remove the default and are refusing to amend the date of default (currently its recorded as 7 months after they claim I did not pay) and this is ruining my otherwise perfect credit record.

 

I intend to apply for a mortgage and have stepped up my efforts in the previous 2 years to get EE to amend this but it looks like I am going to have to get them to issue a letter od deadlock so i ca proceed with a compliant to the Ombudsman and was wondering if anyone had done a subject access request to get old bills/copies of old phone recordings as this would prove my case to the Ombudsman and finally end this nightmare.

7 REPLIES 7
by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

Hello @orange_r_bad

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit and post on the Community today. Smiley Happy

 

I recommend you make a complaint to EE, obtain a letter of deadlock and take this to the financial ombudsman immediately as you are running out of time (I'll explain below).

 

Unfortunately, EE have lied to you when they suggest that they can not access your old bills. While customers can only access their last 12 months bills by using the online account services, EE have to legally keep your bills (otherwise referred to as records) for six years - this is explained on the gov.uk website here; titled running a limited company:

 

"You must keep records for 6 years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to, or longer if: they show a transaction that covers more than one of the company's accounting periods."

 

According to Companies House, EE's accounting period runs from 1st April to the 31st March each year. So therefor, your bills that would have been produced in October 2012 would have been in EE's accounting period between 1st April 2012 to the 31st March 2013 which means they need to be legally kept until the 31st March 2019 (31st March 2013 is the end of EE's account period, plus the six years they need to legally keep your records, means they have to legally keep them until 31st March 2019).

 

EE are also required by law to keep your invoices for six years as they are a VAT registered company and they charge VAT to their customers. Again, this is explained on the gov.uk website here; titled VAT record keeping:

 

"How to keep VAT records. You must keep VAT records for at least 6 years (or 10 years if you use the VAT MOSS service. You can keep VAT records on paper, electronically or as part of a software program (eg book-keeping software).Records must be accurate, complete and readable."

 

So yes EE do have these records, they are just unwilling to provide them or they are unwilling to go looking for these records as it might be time consuming, but legally they still exist somewhere.

 

I hope the information I have provided helps you in anyway. Smiley Happy

by orange_r_bad Investigator
Investigator

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

Thanks very much for your reply Inyourbox. I suspected this was the case. The fact that the bills will show absolutely zero use and therefore back up what I am saying is why I assume EE are so unwilling to go looking for them/want me to have them. 

 

I'm most interested to hear the conversation I supposedly had with the call centre staff as that will 100% prove EE are in the wrong.

 

To be honest after all this time I am going to seek damages in my case with the Ombudsman and not just the removal of the default. 

 

Absolutely disgusted at EE but it seems what they have done to me is a fairly regular occurence with them....

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

The issue here might be that by not using the PAC you are also cancelling the cancellation you previously gave notice of. Accordingly you auto continue on a rolling month basis. Perhaps that's what the note against your phone call is meant to say. Therefore you had no longer paid it off as it was now rolling on.

 

It is not relevant whether you had not used the phone at all since as you had contracted to pay the monthly fee whether you used it or not.

 

A SAR cannot obtain what no longer exists.

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by orange_r_bad Investigator
Investigator

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

I phoned up to cancel the PAC code and confirm the contract should be terminated as originally instructed. 

 

My entire point about not using the phone (indeed I recycled the handset) was that as far as I was aware the contract was extinguished in line with my instructions. If they had put me on a rolling contract (against my instructions) and I had been aware of this I would have called up and terminated the rolling contract asap as opposed to letting it continue and not paying it.

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

Hello there @orange_r_bad

 

Thanks for coming to the community.

 

Have you spoken to our credit team and queried what is showing on your credit file?

 

There are 4 ways to query something on your credit file;

 

1. Via Chat

 

Click on this link between 9-5, Monday to Friday: http://ee.co.uk/help/accounts-billing-and-topping-up/billing-and-payment/understanding-credit-files

 

 

2. Via email to us


Orange, T-Mobile and EE – crqueries@ee.co.uk

 

 

3. Via a credit reference agency

Experian – experian.co.uk

Equifax – equifax.co.uk

Call Credit – callcredit.co.uk

 

 

4. Send a letter to our credit referrals team

 

EE

6 Camberwell Way

Doxford Park

Sunderland

SR3 3XN

 

Please ensure you provide all of the following details in order for us to review your query:

 

  • Your full name
  • Your address including postcode
  • A contact telephone number
  • As much detail around your query as possible

 

We will aim to respond to queries via email within 48 hours but queries by post may take a little longer.

 

Please see our How does EE use my credit file information? support article for full information.

 

Thanks, Leanne.

by orange_r_bad Investigator
Investigator

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

I have already queried with your credit referals team and customer complaints. One guy in customer complaints seemed very helpful however is on annual leave and the woman I spoke to when I called last week for an update was very unhelpful and rude and kept referring to the 'evidence' she had being the line from the call centre operative who had stated that when I called to cancel the PAC I actually requested to keep paying for a contract I no use for/did not ever use again. She would not try to get a recording of the call and refused to listen to reason and simply stated as there was a line on my account that stated that, that she would do nothing to help me which I was rather disgusted about.

 

I hope the Ombudsman places less reliance on a line from a call centre operative and instead looks at the context of everything and sees sense.

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Orange ruined credit rating - SAR and communication Financial Ombudsman

Hi @orange_r_bad

 

I am sorry to hear this.

 

Are they getting this looked into further for you?

 

I would suggest using the chat option or emailing the team to get an update on this.

 

For chat - click on this link between 9-5, Monday to Friday: http://ee.co.uk/help/accounts-billing-and-topping-up/billing-and-payment/understanding-credit-files

 

Or email - crqueries@ee.co.uk

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

Leanne.

 

 

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