BBC Watchdog programme highlights plight of Customers’ credit ratings ruined by Vodafone
Cerulean’s Juliette Levy, telecoms law expert, appeared on BBC’s Watchdog programme on Wednesday night, 19 July, to advise customers who have had their credit ratings ruined by Vodafone. In every case Vodafone had wrongly reported to credit agencies that the customer owed them money, often quite small sums, when they didn’t, or the debt was hotly disputed. The programme highlighted numerous cases where customers were either overcharged or even accused of having accounts they didn’t have.
Falsely reporting non-existent or disputed defaults to credit agencies is, according to a 2014 decision of the Supreme Court, Durkin v DSB Retail Ltd, a very serious matter. The court held that a service provider owes a duty of care to its customers, apart from any contractual obligations, and so falsely reporting a default is in clear breach. In Durkin the Supreme Court upheld a damages award of £8,000 without the customer having to prove any actual loss. In some cases, it is clear that a customer could recover very substantial compensation if the damage to their credit rating had caused clear definable loss as well.
Juliette also advised Vodafone customers who had connectivity problems which had disrupted their lives or their businesses. She described the operators’ obligations under the Communications Act 2003 to provide overall coverage service levels and advised how individuals could seek redress in particular instances.
To see the programme go to BBC One – Watchdog, Series 38, Episode 4. If you have had similar or related problems with any telecoms provider, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if we can help.