Thursday 25 August 2016
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on problems with mobile phone bills.
My mobile phone company is still billing me even though I cancelled my contract over the phone. I’m disputing the bill, but now I’ve received a letter from a debt collection agency demanding the money. I don’t think I should have to pay, but I’m worried it will affect my credit rating if I don’t. What can I do?
You’re right in thinking you shouldn’t have to pay – if you’re disputing the bill, it shouldn’t be treated as a debt. This year we have seen a 27% increase in enquiries about telephone and broadband, including mobile phone contracts.
Start by making a formal complaint to your mobile phone company. Write to them saying you are disputing your bill, but have still been contacted by debt collectors. Include details of why you’re disputing it, dates you’ve been in touch over the bill and copies of any correspondence. Ask them to call off the debt collectors while the dispute is ongoing.
Next, contact the debt collection agency as soon as possible to say that you’re disputing the bill, and have complained to the phone company about them involving a debt collector. Call the debt collection agency, then follow up with a letter. Enclose a copy of your complaint to the phone company, and ask the debt collectors to stop pursuing the bill.
You can use a credit reference agency to check your credit report. If your bill shows up as a debt, you can ask them to add a note saying you’re disputing it.
If the debt collectors are still pursuing the money, or you want more information and advice, go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk or telephone Citizens Advice Exeter on 03444 111 444.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on switching to a cheaper energy supplier.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit the Adviceguide website at www.adviceguide.org.uk