Switching phone carrier? Watch your bank account, warns Igor …

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Igor, from the Czech Republic, contacted the Consumer Watch Foundation after he spotted some unexpected activity in his bank account – IT specialist Igor, wanted to warn people of what can happen  when simple things in your life change, like your phone provider!


Here is Igor’s story:

When looking into my bank account statements I found a monthly direct debit payment to T-Mobile. This wouldn’t be anything suspicious just a year ago. I decided to switch my phone carrier from T-Mobile to O2 by the beginning of this year.

Everything worked well.

When visiting local T-Mobile store, they helped me to cancel the contract and I was provided with the number needed in order to move and keep the phone number. I visited O2 store and gave them the number. Within just couple of days I was swimming in O2 waters. “Job done then” I thought.

Being so happy everything went smooth – I forgot to cancel my direct debit allowance towards the T-Mobile and what was even more unfortunate, they forgot too. Several months later when going through the account statements I realised they still charging me for the services included in my old contract.

Very same day of the unfortunate discovery, I visited local T-Mobile store and asked them for the explanation. ”Unfortunately, you are not our customer anymore and therefore we cannot find you in the system” was the answer I was given.

And I am telling you, that wasn’t what I came for. “How can I get the payments back? “ I asked. “Unfortunately, I cannot help you right now, as you are not in the system”.

After several hours of communication with T-Mobile support line they found that they have the contract separated into “OLD” and “NEW” system. The “NEW” one was empty but the “OLD” one contained the information about the broadband service which was part of the contract. “Good news sir, we found the broadband number. Now I can give it to you and you can cancel that old contract too – so you don’t have to be paying any more for the service” said happy voice on the other end of the phone. “What about my money you were charging for the services which should have been cancelled with the contract then?” “Aaah, so you want the money back as well right? OK, we can refund it if you like”. You bet I like. “But first, please cancel the contract, as we cannot terminate the contract via phone, charged money will be refunded afterwards”.

Cancellation sent and waiting for the refund.

Once I receive the refund, you’ll be first to know.

What’s my mistakes/advice?

Always check regularly your bank statements for suspicious payments.

  1. Always check who you allow to Direct Debit you.
  2. Always ask for the refunds.

Consumer Watch Foundation

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