O2 re­fuses to give me a mo­bile phone

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.