Pre-paid mobile phone service plans - Aggressive collection activities
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Service providers can only use one debt collector at a time for each debt and have to tell you if they intend to pass your debt on.
Debt collectors aren’t allowed to call you early in the morning or late at night (generally before 8 a.m or after 9 p.m).
They can't put pressure on you to sell your home or take out more credit to cover the debt.
They shouldn't put pressure on you to pay all the money off, or in larger instalments when you can't afford to. You should always be able ask to arrange a repayment plan.
Debt collectors aren't allowed to ignore you if you say you don't owe money or don't think the debt is yours.
They're not allowed to embarrass you in public or pursue you on social media. They're also not allowed to tell someone else about your debts or use another family member or neighbour to pass on messages.
They should also never imply that legal action can be taken when it can't or that court action has been taken against you when it hasn't.
If you encounter aggressive debt collection practices, the best thing to do is to make a note of the incident and report it. Most debt collection agencies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You should contact them separately, explaining the situation.
You can also make a complaint to your service provider via Resolver.You should know
If you have an issue with your Pay As You Go Plan, use Resolver to raise a complaint with your service provider. If you remain unhappy, Resolver will help you to escalate your concerns to the relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme - which will be either OSC (Ombudsman Services: Communications) or CISAS (Commications Industry Adjudication Service).
I received a huge phone bill after a holiday abroad
As of June 2017, data roaming charges within the EU have been dropped. The new rules mean network providers will charge the same rates for calls, texts, and data in the EU as they would in the UK.
However, UK network providers differ in the number of countries they will be applying the new rules to. Variations will also occur depending on whether customers are on pay-as-you-go or on contracts. Exceeding text, minute and data allowances will still be chargeable.
We advise travellers to double check the rules with their network providers before using their phone abroad.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
All telecommunications firms are requird to be a member of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme that has been approved by the regulator, OfCOM. Currently, OfCOM have approved two schemes - The Communications Ombudsman and CISAS (Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Service) - and all service providers must be a member of either of these two ADR schemes.
An ADR scheme can help when a dispute cannot be settled by a telecommunications company. The ADR process offers a quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes than going via the courts. Once the internal complaint process is exhausted, businesses must give the consumer details of an approved ADR provider and tell the consumer if it is willing to use them.
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