Vodafone up to "dirty tricks" again

A few months ago, I had an issue when Vodafone decided my free calls and texts were no longer part of my contract after 6 months. Which was funny as I had thought the phrasing looked a bit weird on my first bill, queried it and was told there wasn’t an issue and they’d run till the end of my contract.

I got that sorted, after coming very close to them taking the money off me regardless and pushing me overdrawn.

Now I need to put my contract on “hold” while I’m abroad. No point in paying £25-ish a month for a phone that’s going to be sat, switched off, in my luggage.

I sent an email and was told, no problem. I’d have to “downgrade” to Pay As You Go and restart my contract when I returned. Just drop them a letter with the details and they’d sort it. This I duly did, asking for them to confirm receipt and the date they’d do it for me.

Lo and behold – no reply. So I chased them by email today just to set my mind at rest. I get a reply back saying that as Im not at the end of my contract, I’d have to pay a “shortfall fee” up to the end date and to ring up to discuss this.

Given that I had to give them 4 weeks’ notice of my “cancel” date and I now leave in slightly over 2 weeks, I’m a little annoyed by this to say the least. I am even more annoyed now that I’ve called them and been told that I owe in excess of £171 to do this as my 12-month contract is apparently actually an 18-month one. They just didn’t actually bother to mention that to me.

OK, apparently they did. Not during my initial contract renewal (where I ensured it was a 12-month contract), not on the contract I signed (because I never signed a contract), but on the despatch note I received with the phone. Apparently.

Well, I can’t remember seeing a despatch note though I’ll assume there was one. I definitely don’t remember signing anything, but I do remember agreeing on a 12-month contract.

The words “sneeky”, “underhanded” and “*****” spring to mind. I’m prepared to accept 2-3 months’ shortfall payment as that seems fair. Although nobody bothered to mention it when I first enquired about “pausing” my account, it’s something I’d expect if I’d agreed to a 12-month contract. However, paying up to December for a phone that will be switched off just ain’t happening.

Out of curiosity, if I tell them to shove it and find myself abroad in a country with no extradition treaty and no UK address or bank account… what the **** can they do about it?

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