Having a smartphone is pretty essential these days. Whether it’s for keeping in touch with friends and family or using it work or entertainment, just about everyone has one. Yet they can be expensive luxuries, particularly if you’re paying each month. If you’re struggling with money, then you might find that you owe more than you can afford to pay back. In such situations, you might find you end up with a letter from a Vodafone debt collection agency. We take a look at everything you need to know if this happens.
It’s not your fault. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
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What if I don’t pay my Vodafone bill?
Many of us have missed a payment on a phone bill from time to time. You might not realise it’s due, or you may have forgotten to transfer money into the right account. In such situations, you’ll usually get a notification that your account is overdue, and you can solve the problem fairly quickly.
However, if you’ve missed a payment by a long way, your account will usually go into arrears. This could mean that Vodafone cut off your number, meaning you’re unable to use data or make or receive calls. At this stage, it’s not too late to pay your bill with relatively little damage.
If you still don’t pay your bill, Vodafone will default your account, and your contract will likely be cancelled. This will then usually start the Vodafone debt collection process. This could mean that they pass your debt over to a debt collection agency or even issue a County Court judgement.
Don’t worry, here’s what to do
You could get rid of debt collectors by writing off your debt. I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator which will tell you if you’re eligible:
I can’t afford to pay my bill – what should I do?
Of course, the situation we’ve mentioned above is the worst-case scenario. A Vodafone debt collection agency will usually only contact you as a last resort. If you’re struggling to pay your bill, there are several options you can take.
Whether you’re finding it hard to pay your usual monthly payment or additional fees you’ve incurred, the first thing you should do is contact Vodafone. They even have a dedicated page for those struggling to pay their bill. Here, there are suggestions for actions both you and they might take:
Actions you can take
There are several things you can do to reduce your future bills. Many of these focus on reducing any extra charges you might rack up. For example, instead of using extra data, you can try connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Similarly, you can change your plan so that you have enough calls, texts, and data without getting extra charges.
Actions they might take
If you’re having a hard time paying your Vodafone bill, they might help you come up with a payment plan. This means that you pay back smaller amounts on a regular basis until you clear the debt. They may also remove any additional services you don’t need, or even change the date of your bill to make things easier.
Find your best debt solution
Is all this information starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t panic! I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator so you can quickly and easily find the best solution for you. Answer the four questions now.
What if my bill is wrong?
Sometimes, you might find that your Vodafone bill is unusually large. It’s easy to just worry about the amount itself, rather than look at whether or not the bill is correct. If you think your bill is unfair or wrong, you should contact Vodafone to get them to check the extra charges. Often, by talking it through, you can come up with a solution that works best for you and the company.
Of course, if you make a complaint about your bill, Vodafone has to deal with it. However, if they don’t resolve it in a satisfying way, you can contact Ofcom to escalate the issue further.
What happens if my debt goes to a debt collection agency?
Vodafone will usually try quite hard to recover the amount you owe them. As well as phoning you, they’ll probably also write to you and send SMS messages. You’ll usually find that they’re quite patient when they contact you, so you shouldn’t ignore them.
If you do try and ignore them, they may either send your account to a debt collector or even sell the debt to them. If this is the case, the Vodafone debt collection agency will then start chasing you for the amount. They’ll start writing to you and phoning you, and they may even try and visit your home. In the most extreme circumstances, they may even try and take you to court for the debt.
What Vodafone debt collection agency will contact me?
There are many different debt collection agencies out there. Vodafone have been known to use a few different ones, often depending on where you live and the severity of the amount you owe. By looking at forums, we can see that some of the companies they use for debt collection include:
So, if you receive a letter from any of these companies, there’s a good chance that it’s about your Vodafone debt.
What should I do if a debt collection agency contacts me?
Although it can be concerning when a debt collection agency contacts you, you don’t need to panic. There are several steps you can take:
- Check whether what you owe is correct
- Get Vodafone to confirm the debt
- Check whether the debt is statute-barred
- Try and arrange a repayment plan with Vodafone
These simple steps can help you avoid a lot of hassle in the long run. Ultimately, you want to settle the matter before court proceedings begin, as this can severely impact your credit rating for the next few years.
Where can I get help with my debts?
Struggling with debt is no fun. But you don’t have to do it alone. There are several places you can turn to for help with these things. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the services and organisations that exist to help you with your Vodafone debt:
- StepChange. A charity that provides advice and support for those in debt.
- National Debtline. A different charity with plenty of resources for those in financial difficulty.
- Citizens Advice. With this service, you can talk privately and for free with someone about your situation.
- Debt options. With our debt options article, you can find out about some of the financial measures you can take to help with your debt.