Vodafone DE - Who else has been skiffed??

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by MAD_FERRET, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Evening all....

    My question is has anyone else had the misfortune of having a contract with them, and thought it was cancelled, only to receive a huge bill 2 years later? And did you have to pay, if not, who / what did you get involved?

    I only found out today through Sparkasse, who tell me my and Mrs MF account will be shut / suspended at the end of the month unless it is paid. I find this blackmail outrageous, as when l paid my last bill l had a letter confirming the account closed so thought that was it.

    Now with my new debt (2500 euros!!) , l approached VF today and they insist the account wasnt closed and it must be paid!

    Any legal eagles have any advice / recommendations?

    And l know in hindsight (its a wonderful thing) l shouldnt have gone contract, so l dont want opinions, advice only please
  2. Why did you think it was cancelled ? do you have any letters of confirmation ?
  3. Yes l did - and it was two years ago. now VF are adamant that it wasnt cancelled, and where the hell that letter is now l have no idea... 2 moves have been and gone since then! You would have thought they had a record but obviously not....
  4. And you've had no bills from them for the last 2 years??? If not, have you asked them whether closing of the account could possibly have caused this?
  5. You need to speak to Army Legal sharpish. Questions they'll ask.

    1. Were you posted out of Germany? Judging by you still have an acct at Sparky - answer No.

    2. Why did you cancel the contract?

    3. Did you serve the full time under the contract ie. 1/ 2 years?

    4. Where is the letter?

    Might prove a little help. Also, where abouts are you in BFG, there could be another route, but prefer to PM you the details (if ok).
  6. There must be a computer record at least of this letter. I wonder whether you could make a Freedom of Information request? I would write to them initially insisting that the account was closed, that you are sticking to your guns. If they refuse to cooperate, write to them informing them that you are lodging an official complaint with the Ombudsman. Send it all recorded, and insist on a written answer within 14 days.

    Just a thought; did you pay by direct debit? Once the account was closed, they would have been contacted. If that was the case, why would they let the monthly debits pass by for 2 years without bringing it to your attention?

    Sounds fishy to me. Good luck, don't let them browbeat you into submission.
  7. Forget the FOI request...missed the bit about Deutschland! It must have been in the small print.....
  8. Army Legal in Bielefeld (or that's where they were when I was serving!) are there to assist with exactly this sort of problem. Andy Caps is absolutely right on that one.

    Did you write and cancel the contract prior to your last move a couple of years ago, if not it automatically extends (usually by a year at a time). You need to cancel a certain period before the end of the contract - with T-Mobile it's three months before the end if I recall correctly.

    My suggestion would be that you inform Vodafone that they are wrong, no bills have been sent or received and that the account was cancelled according to the contract. Shame that you have lost the letter confirming this. I would, however, argue that you don't need to hold onto it and that they should consider the evidence - no bills sent, phone not used for the last two years (I assume) and so on. They should consider writing the debt off and removing the Pfändung on your account if that is what they have done.

    It all seems a little funny though, not sure why Sparkasse would be threatening to close your account. Unless your SCHUFA score is right in the basement - and even then some Spk don't use the Schufa. Is the account running in credit? You probably don't want to answer that here!

  9. Yes, Sparky account is running in credit lol!

    But back to a couple of points, the fact the phone hasnt been used for 20 months and l have had no letters whatsoever even though lm still in Germany makes me smell a rat... And the fact l found out through a Sparkassa SCHUFA report as opposed to Vodafone themselves informing me!

    Stitch the soldier up it would seem, as they know we will be forced to pay...

    Apparantly lm by no means the first this has happened too either.
  10. Mad_Ferret,

    OK, here's what is confusing me.

    Firstly, why are Sparkasse threatening with closure/suspension of your Giro Konto? Have you received a letter from them?

    Secondly, and I may be being daft, why is the bill 2.500 Euros in 20 months? That's over 100 Euros per month. Have you asked vodafone why this is so high. Perhaps there were overseas roaming charges or something - you did stop using the phone all those months ago?

    Speak (today!) with Army Legal, make an appointment and go into see them. Take copies of everything you have from the bank and vodafone and good luck!

    Happy to deal with this in more detail if you wish - PM me for my contact details. But, there are German lawyers working in Bielefeld for specifically this sort of issue.
  11. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    I have some professional contacts in Vodafone de.

    Was your original contract a 1 year or 2 year? What was the monthly fee? (I assume you took advantage of aquiring a gucci phone at the time?)

    Did you give 3 months notice not to renew before the end of your contract? (This is a contractual obligation on your part that you agreed to).

    I suspect you did what many squaddies have done before - failed to cancel your contract. Now you probably have penalties for unpaid bills, I cannot think of any other way your debt could get that big in 20 months.
    There is actually no letter they send that confirms cancellation. After you send your cancellation letter you get a couple of offers asking you to reconsider, then everything just stops working on the last day.
  12. I took the contract out initially on arrival in Germany, a 2 year deal.

    However, l was told that if l was not happy with it then l could cancel within the first 28 days and that would be it. When l arrived in post, l found out l was due to deploy on OPs so l took the 28 day option, and handed all items back to Vodafone in the Sudring, Paderborn, and paid for that period in cash at the till, where l was informed by the lady that works there that the account would be closed, and a letter sent out.

    I received said letter, however all in German (funny that)....

    Having had no contact since then and now, and the phone no longer in my posession from the day l handed it in, one would 'assume' that everyhing was in order.

    However, finding out on a SCHUFA report through a third party (Sparkasse) that l owe 2500 euros was a bit of a shock to the system so any contacts that you may have with Vodfone DE would be 'useful' at this point.
  13. Agree with everything except the last point.

    I have a cancellation confirmation letter from Vodafone attached to the fridge at home at this very moment- tells you the exact date when your contract ends..
  14. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    That 28/30 day clause refers to German consumer law - you would still have been required to cancel in writing as the contract required.

    German companies tend to write in German, just as Vodafone UK writes in English - your problem I'm afraid. The letter may have been a request to confirm contract cancellation in writing, you said you no longer have it?
  15. Unfortunately no l dont, but l was told by the Vodafone assistant that the account was closed.... ok this may be naive on my part but l am trusting that way.

    However, that still doesnt explain why l havent had any further communication from VF, and why l have accrued a debt of 2500 euros, or indeed been told l had.

    If a letter had been sent that required me to do something else, l would have acted on it - l ceratinly wouldnt have left it to get such a sum!!

    Surely l have some case in that view?