O2 refuses to give me a mobile phone
I have an old “pay as you go” O2 phone. My kids have been pestering me to upgrade to a smartphone, so I went into the O2 shop to buy a phone with a Sim-only contract at £10 a month.
Having entered my personal and bank account details for the direct debit, the computer said I needed to enter details of my driving licence and passport and of another bank account as well. I queried why this was needed and explained that I did not have another bank account.
I was told that it was to do with my credit rating and two credit reference companies were involved. I was advised to get hold of my credit reports to see what the problem was. I completed my statutory request forms and paid the fee.
I returned the reports to O2 because, as far as I could see, all my financial affairs were in order. I was referred to the customer services telephone line and was eventually given an email address. The reply to my email said it also uses “business policies”, to assess new applications.
I am a 64-year-old retired professional person with no mortgage, no loans, and a considerable amount of money in my bank account.
I have lived at the same address for 26 years and have been on the electoral roll all that time. Why can I not get a simple phone contract? AM, CHESHIRE
This was your first application for a contract with O2, although you had previously had a pay as you go phone. I had to repeatedly go back to O2 which, disappointingly, did not give a fully accurate account of what happened the first time around.
The first application you made was in an O2 shop. You were asked for a credit or debit card as the initial form of ID. O2 does not always require extra information, including that relating to a second bank account, which you do not have, but in this instance it did ask you for that. Another time, the O2 sales representative applied for a small business contract as an alternative, but that application couldn’t be completed either.
When you phoned the main O2 phone number, you were told that the information as to why this had happened was not available but it was probably to do with your credit rating. A letter from O2 said: “Like all service providers O2 carries out a credit check on all potential ‘pay monthly’ customers before entering into a contract.
“A credit score is given by the credit reference agency, dependent on a number of factors and our decision is made based on this score and O2 policies.”
O2 later said in neither case was there a problem to do with a credit check.
Why then had you been sent on a wild-goose chase? After pressing O2 on this, it said that the adviser had not fully checked the background relating to your applications, otherwise she would have clearly seen that no credit checks were carried out.
It now said that only when all necessary ID checks it requires have been successfully processed will a credit check be done. This means O2 is now arguing that technically there was no decline for service.
The credit file argument had resonated as your wife, with whom you have a joint credit agreement, had her identity stolen last year. Given your wife’s recent bad experience with her information being misused you, naturally, did not want to provide unnecessary details to anyone.
Despite the O2 computer having asked for details of both your driving licence and passport, after my involvement a letter from O2 said only one of these was now required.
Whereas the computer application form specifically said “second bank account” now you were told you could instead provide details of a second credit or debit card. You applied again twice in the store but this time the systems were temporarily unavailable.
The upshot of all this is that, after four problematic applications to O2, you walked down the road to
another provider, produced your driving licence and had a “pay monthly” contract within 20 minutes.
A Fairtrade hamper has been sent to apologise for any inconvenience you have had.
downloaded from the internet. Indeed, I quickly found what you wanted in English and have left you a message accordingly.
This is another reason for people to become familiar with the internet, which I suspect you may not be.
If that is the case, either ask someone to help you or go to the local library and see if a librarian will source such information on the library’s computer, and hopefully enable you to print it out.