Mobile Connections and Dial a Mobile Ltd.
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Dial a Mobile Ltd went out of business on 30 August 2007, leaving thousands of customers without the cashback that they had been promised.In our previous advice to the public we said that in the absence of an agreement as to the minimum contract period between the consumer and their network provider, customers of Mobile Connections should give notice to their network provider of their intention to terminate their airtime agreement. This was to be done by giving one months notice to them in writing.
We also advised customers to stop using the service and pay any outstanding bills up to the point of termination.The airtime companies disagreed with our opinion and in general, refused to cancel contracts, although some offered to downgrade customer packages to cheaper tariffs. Those who did not reach an agreement with a service provider, and who attempted to cancel their contract may be receiving letters from debt collectors.The debt collection companies are acting on behalf of the service providers such as Orange or T-Mobile etc. Their aim is to recover the debt the service providers believe their customers owe them in relation to airtime agreements.
How should you answer a debt collection letter?
a)If you feel that you are in a binding contract and the amount asked for is accurate, you should pay the debt collection agency. If you are unable to afford the full amount you should contact the debt collector and ask to arrange a payment plan. If you require help with debt problems you can obtain help and advice from Trading Standards on 0121-303 6031.
b)If you do not think you are in a binding contract you should advise the debt collection agency in writing, stating the reasons. However this may not stop them sending you further demands for payment and / or starting court action against you.If you do receive court papers it is important that you do not ignore them. In these circumstances you can contact Trading Standards on 0121-303-6031.
What can a debt collector do?
A debt collector is entitled to pursue a debt in a reasonable manor if it believes that the debt is owed. It may write to you, telephone you or visit you. A debt collector does not have the power to enter your home to remove goods. Only a bailiff can enter your home after a court order has been made and they have gained legal access. You can refuse a bailiff permission to enter your home.Do not confuse a debt collector with a bailiff. Debt collectors have no legal powers, but may repeatedly contact you asking you to pay the debt.
We advise that you should send all correspondence to debt collectors by recorded delivery letter and keep copies of everything.To date, we are unaware of any court action being taken against a consumer by a debt collector or an airtime provider in relation to Mobile Connections/Dial A Mobile.
For advice, Birmingham residents should contact Birmingham Trading Standards on 0121 303 6031. Customers outside Birmingham should contact Consumer Direct via http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk or Telephone: 08454 04 05 06.
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