A battle to get credit where it’s due at Carphone Warehouse

But all’s well that ends with a goodwill gesture of six months’ free credit

Tom Wall recently bought a €15 credit plan from a Carphone Warehouse shop, having recently moved to its newly launched network ID.

“Having explained that I wouldn’t be using the phone for about a month, as I was waiting for other credit to run out, I left it that I would add the credit when I needed,” he says.

About 30 days later, when he eventually switched his number to the ID network, he was less than pleased to find that his credit of €15 was no longer there. It turned out that it had been added to his account the moment he signed up to the new plan and the free minutes and data had expired – as is common when credit is not used over a certain period.

“Now for €15, usually I wouldn’t really care, yet this is exactly what more and more companies are taking advantage of: consumers’ laziness. In order for me to get anywhere with getting a refund, I had to ring ID. I got no joy over the phone. Then I had to go to their store in Galway. They could not help because it wasn’t that store that sold me the phone package. Then in Dublin they could not help me because the manager was away.”


He says that throughout the whole process, individual staff “were completely understanding and apologetic but said ‘this is how the system is run: sorry someone made a mistake.’ And I’m still left with no refund two months later.”

He says this poor customer service has left him warning people to stay well clear of the company. “If they treat customers like this for €15, I can only imagine what dealing with them over a faulty iPhone must be like.”

We contacted the company, which apologised to our reader. “An error occurred at the point of sale in the Carphone Warehouse where the transaction was conducted. We have notified ID and they have suggested that we offer Mr Wall six months’ prepay credit as a goodwill gesture.

A Meteor customer's summer bummer
Anne Regan's son went to the US this summer on a JI visa. He had a monthly bill-pay contract with Meteor, and before he left he contacted the company by phone to tell it he was leaving for the summer. "He gave them his email address for contact, as he would be using an American sim card while he was away. He received no emails from them over the summer but on his return he contacted the company and asked to pay off his arrears of €161."

The company refused to take the money and said that because he had broken his contract, he now owed €600. He was told if he did not pay, he would be put on a list of defaulting debtors.

“He asked why they hadn’t emailed him as requested. He now needs a phone and was willing to pay arrears and continue with his contract. He has been with Meteor for five years. Is this fair?”

We contacted Meteor and received the following response. “Our customer care team has looked into the query. Unfortunately we have no record of [Anne Regan’s son] asking us to contact him via email or informing us that he was travelling. We contacted him on a number of occasions via text message to alert him to the outstanding bills and the possibility of service termination. As he has opted in to receive his phone bill via email, he would have received copies of all outstanding bills. All arrears on this account have been paid and this number is active again. A senior member of the customer care team will call him to help resolve any outstanding issues.”

In praise of Aer Lingus
Philip Black was flying out of Belfast to Faro for a family wedding not long ago, and his son's passport was declined due to dog-eared corners on the photo page.

"He was unable to travel and spent the day getting a replacement passport. Aer Lingus then flew him out next day at no extra cost. I expected a charge for rebooking but none. Well done, Aer Lingus."

Credit where it’s due.