Vodafone were slated by Mobile Industry observers yesterday after it emerged that they instructed a Debt Collection Agency to try and collect a fraudulent ‘debt’ from a pensioner.
Fraudsters had taken a out Vodafone handset in the pensioner’s name but Mobile giant still passed the ‘debt’ onto a collection agency despite previously acknowledging it was a case of fraud
The female pensioner was left “stressed and concerned” by Vodafone after a fraudulent smartphone delivery saw her being chased by Debt Collectors for a bill of hundreds of pounds.
The unfortunate scenario began when a parcel was delivered to 70 year-old Muriel George’s home in Dartford in January this year. Within moments of the delivery, she received a phone call from the “couriers” informing her there had been a administrative mistake and someone would come to pick it up the handset.
However, when Ms George received a £57 bill for the monthly tariff, her concerns were immediately raised. She contacted Vodafone who confirmed the fraud, which used her name, address and phone number, but the demands for payment from Vodafone kept on arriving.
Following a number of internal demands from Vodafone, a debt collection agency then began to contact her with demands for the tariff and additional charges which totalled over £317
“It’s all been logged, we’ve got letters from Vodafone saying its fraud, but they are computer generated letters and somebody is not closing it out,” her son Derrick is reported to have told Mobile News.
“We spoke to a manager and they have said this is out of our hands now and a debt collection agency has taken over.”
Following Industry news website ‘Mobile News’ intervention, the debt has reportedly been cancelled by Vodafone and the Debt Collection Agency told to cease action.
A spokesperson for the Vodafone said: “It’s clear that Mrs George has been the victim of fraud. We’ve cancelled the account and we’ll make sure there are no further communications from the collections agency. We’ll also ensure that this has no effect on Mrs George’s credit file.”