“Vodafone ruined my credit score because they failed to cancel my contract”

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Dear Katie,

In 2020 my partner and I were working from home with a poor internet connection. We bought a dongle from Vodafone on a contract. However, he couldn’t support both of us and was effectively useless. I felt we had been mis-sold. I asked my partner to call and cancel but was sold more data.

When I called Vodafone they agreed to cancel the contract and waive the early termination charge. I was told there would be no more charges. I have canceled the standing order with my bank in case there are other incorrect debits. Several months later, I was contacted by a debt collection agency for unpaid invoices.

Because Vodafone had canceled my account it was virtually impossible to speak to anyone. Eventually Vodafone agreed to waive our early termination fee and the agency cleared my ‘outstanding debt’ of £254. But I’m still left with a mark on my credit file.

This dropped my credit score from 999 (excellent) to 678 (good). We are looking to move and this black mark will count against me when applying for a mortgage.

– EC, Derbyshire

Dear reader,

You say you were told the cancellation fee was waived, but Vodafone has a different version of events. He says he explicitly advised you not to cancel your direct debit so that your early termination fee could be collected, but you ignored him.

I wonder if different customer service agents gave you conflicting information, so you chose to listen to the advice you preferred and hoped for the best?

If so, it turned out to be a costly mistake. I agree that this charge seemed terribly unfair given your bad experience with the dongle, but that didn’t mean you could just walk away from it. If you could go back in time, you would have kept the direct debit and disputed the early termination fee as soon as it was charged.

Moreover, Vodafone claims that debt collection letters have been sent to you on several occasions, but you blindly swear that you have never received one. However, the good news for you is that despite your various disagreements, Vodafone has agreed to remove the credit marks from your file, so they don’t affect your ability to move.

A spokesperson said: “When we refunded the early termination fee, we indicated that the credit note could not be deleted. Clearly the client did not fully appreciate this, so we began the process of removing the mark from the credit report. »