Disconnect on the line leads to high phone charges
YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES ANSWERED:A reader called Rachel contacted us to see if we could help her with a problem she has been having with O2 and the Carphone Warehouse (CPW). Last November, she went to the latter and asked about getting an IPhone 4S. She was told that to get it with O2, the provider she was with, she would have to pay a little over €100.
The shop assistant then said “I could change to 3 Mobile and get the phone for free. She checked her system and it showed I was able to change providers as I was not in a contract. She changed me over as I waited in the shop. I paid my last bill that arrived by post with O2.”
A couple of weeks later, Rachel got another bill from O22 for €141.57. “I rang O2 straight away and asked what the bill was for. They said I broke my contract a few months early. I was in a contract until February. I explained to the lady on the phone what my situation was. I asked if if should have shown up on CPW’s system, and she said it should have. The two systems are linked and they should read the same information.”
So Rachel went back into CPW and explained the situation. The staff member she had dealt with initially “said she would never have changed me over if I was in contract. She said it was no problem and they would sort it out. I didn’t hear from her so I dropped in again. They were waiting for the O2 rep to come in early the next week.”
Our reader heard nothing further, and when she went back in, she was told that she was in contract with O2 and there was nothing they could do.
“I have been in to CPW a few times and they have basically told me they aren’t accepting the blame, O2 should have updated their systems. She put me on to someone in O2 who basically told me that I must be a fool to have not known I was in contract with them, and it was my own problem and they wouldn’t help me.
“The bottom line is, I had been with O2 for the past 17 or 18 years in and out of contracts. I have never changed provider and didn’t particularly want to as I have been very happy with them. The only reason I changed was my iPhone 3 didn’t work any more and CPW got me the phone with 3 for free. I couldn’t afford to pay O2 for the handset. Since I have moved, I haven’t been happy with the 3 signal for calls or internet. I would never have changed over if I knew I was breaking a contract. If I had had the money, I would have just bought the phone, it would have been cheaper.” She has since been contacted by debt collectors acting for 02.