Mobile phone debt

Alex

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Just a quick question regarding mobile phone debt. A friend of mine found paying their mobile phone bill of 60 euro a month a bit tough. The phone was still on contract but cancelled due to non payment. An outstanding bill is now due which is in excess of 1100 euro as a result of cancellation. My friend is not ignoring the debt. They rang the operator to discuss payment options. Something suggested by the operator. They (friend) had a figure in mind. A figure that would be a bit less than the 60 euro a month obviously as 60 euro a month was hard in the first place. However the operator is suggesting either 200 euro a month for 6 months or 50 euro a week for 6 months (approx). Both options are not up for negotiation. My friend said to the operator that this is not possible and would something smaller be accepted instead. The answer was no. What are the options here when the operator is saying no to an offer of clearing the debt? My friend wants to pay this but feels stuck now. I apologise if this is not in the correct forum. If it is posted incorrectly can you please move? Thank you.
 
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tomdublin

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It's unsecured debt and the amount doesn't seem significant enough for them to initiate legal proceedings. If it's not paid it will be passed to a collection agency. They will send a couple of nasty letters and eventually offer a you a deal which entails them writing off half the amount if you pay up. If you ignore that they will just go away. It might show up in the Irish credit bureau register or whatever it's called but I'm not sure about that. If it does this might make it hard for you to get a credit card or a mortgage.
 

notabene

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363
Is the 1100 what would be due for the remainder of the contract? I wouldn't ignore it as it could affect your friend's credit rating - I would maybe get on to comreg though and see would they be able to help the situation - they are often very helpful when you have issues with telecom providers
 

cremeegg

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These stories upset me very much. Large companies exploiting the vulnerable, and that is what this is. How can you cancel a mobile phone contract and end up owing them €1,100, that's just nonsense.

Having said that I fell a certain disdain for anyone who would fall in line with this type of exploitation, I want to shout 'stand up for yourself' at your friend.

Your friend should challenge the mobile company as to how this 'debt' arose, point out how unreasonable it is. The advice about contacting Comreg is a good idea.

If they do not pay it is most unlikely that the mobile company would go to court for the money, and most unlikely that they would win in court, that said we have no details of how the debt actually arose. If the company did go to court, unlikely, and win, unlikely, the court would make a payment order for the amount of the judgement, the amount reflects the defendants ability to pay, €5 a month is possible. This is part of the reason why companies do not usually take people to court over small amounts.

There is no credit rating in Ireland as such. The Central Credit Register holds details of loans it does not record debts like this.

The mobile phone companies have a system whereby they share details of non payers among themselves. GDPR legislation should in my opinion prevent this but it seems it doesn't. How one mobile company telling another that you them money when the debt may be disputed can be legal astounds me but it seems that they can.

The practical effects of this information sharing between mobile companies seem limited to me, I doubt you would be unable to get a new phone.

As far as I know information about the debt cannot be passed beyond this.
 

LS400

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521
€60 per month on contract?
Was there a phone obtained as part of this deal, and if so, is your friends still using it.?
 

Laughahalla

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Folks, get yourself sim only with GoMo. All your calls and internet for 10 euro per month.

Madness contracting with a network for any longer than a month. Buy the phone yourself and you eliminate the risk of this occuring.
 

Brendan Burgess

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A friend of mine found paying their mobile phone bill of 60 euro a month a bit tough. The phone was still on contract but cancelled due to non payment.
Did they give a breakdown of the €1,100 charge?

When you say that they cancelled it due to non payment? How much did she owe when they cancelled it?

And how much was the fee for the remainder of the contract?

Brendan
 

Alex

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312
Is the 1100 what would be due for the remainder of the contract? I wouldn't ignore it as it could affect your friend's credit rating - I would maybe get on to comreg though and see would they be able to help the situation - they are often very helpful when you have issues with telecom providers
Most of it is what is due for the remainder of the contract yes.
 

Alex

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312
Did they give a breakdown of the €1,100 charge?

When you say that they cancelled it due to non payment? How much did she owe when they cancelled it?

And how much was the fee for the remainder of the contract?

Brendan
The amount owing at the time was a couple of unpaid bills at 60 euro per month so just a little over 120 euro. This shot up to 1100 euro as a result of non payment and included the termination fee.
 

Alex

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As for it being a top of the range iPhone, like the one suggested with three, this is not the case.
 

so-crates

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A phone was obtained yes. The phone is no longer in use as the account was disconnected.
The phone can still be used, albeit not alone. It should still be possible to connect it to wifi and use whatsapp, internet, etc. It may also still be able to receive calls and texts and should still be able to call emergency services.

Their behaviour is heavy-handed. For €60 per month, you are repaying the cost of the phone plus an agreed usage, however I doubt they would be amenable to (for example) reduce the bill if your friend "handed back" the phone to them. Even if they did it would be at a heavy discount in their favour. They aren't really interested in phones, they are only interested in nice long payment contracts, they want people on contract because it is an advantage to them to have a fairly dependable income stream where they are setting the terms. Your friend has tried to reason with them. Has attempted to negotiate a reasonable and affordable payment plan. They have refused to engage reasonably and have asked for an even more onerous payment plan from your friend than the one s/he wasn't able to afford. As others have pointed out, the debt is too small for them to actually do anything more than empty threats about. At this stage, document what has happened and stop engaging, it is getting nowhere, nothing is being resolved and it is only causing distress. If s/he is still concerned, then perhaps suggest they set up the amount they had said they can afford into a savings account so that they have a small fund available to offer in settlement of the debt in future if the opportunity arises and can show that their suggested plan would have cleared it eventually.
 

HollowKnight

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It should still be possible to connect it to wifi and use whatsapp, internet, etc. It may also still be able to receive calls and texts and should still be able to call emergency services.
Wifi - Yes.
Whatsapp - No. (You need an active SIM to use Whatsapp)
Receive calls/texts - No. (See above)
Emergency calls - Yes.
 

so-crates

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Wifi - Yes.
Whatsapp - No. (You need an active SIM to use Whatsapp)
Receive calls/texts - No. (See above)
Emergency calls - Yes.
It may vary from network to network or by how they disconnect the user but I know someone in precisely the OP's friend's position and they have been able to use whatsapp and receive calls and texts.

I suspect the reason is practical rather than altruistic or oversight. The contact number is the only one available to them.
 
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demoivre

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A figure that would be a bit less than the 60 euro a month obviously as 60 euro a month was hard in the first place. However the operator is suggesting either 200 euro a month for 6 months or 50 euro a week for 6 months (approx). Both options are not up for negotiation. My friend said to the operator that this is not possible and would something smaller be accepted instead. The answer was no. What are the options here when the operator is saying no to an offer of clearing the debt?
I'd be having none of it. Of course it's negotiable. Tell your friend to offer what he can afford per month, and tell the phone company that that is his final offer. Tell the phone company if they are not happy with that to litigate.
 

Alex

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My friend is just going to send them 30 euro a month from January. The phone company that is, not a debt collector. Although a debt collector is not involved just yet. If one does get involved my friend will point out that they are paying the network what they can afford and if they are not happy with that to deal with MABS. This is advice that was given and it seems sound.
 
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