My son is in residential rehab for six to 12 months and will not have access to his cell phone or home broadband. He has a two-year contract with Vodafone, which refused to suspend his account during this period. He is a student who postpones his studies for a year to work on his convalescence and he has no way of paying his contract while he is in rehab. Other services such as the board, the college, the Student Loans Company and its housing provider all have policies in place to support him, but Vodafone intends to sue him for payments that will put him into debt.
Since you are able to provide medical evidence for your son’s situation, Vodafone’s intransigence is cause for concern. The regulator, Ofcom, requires suppliers to treat vulnerable customers fairly and its guidelines include allowing a breach of contract in exceptional cases when the service cannot be used.
Your son’s case seems to have been treated with complete indifference. Vodafone’s terms and conditions only mention breaches of contract for armed forces personnel, and customer service personnel do not appear to have been sufficiently trained to recognize exceptional circumstances. âWe suspend accounts in certain circumstances, but the client advisor who handled the case had never seen this particular scenario before and the request was not processed properly,â said a spokesperson.
But it wasn’t just one agent. After sending your email, a customer service manager called you, reiterated that nothing could be done, and confirmed that if the account failed, the company would sue the debt. When I contacted the press service, Vodafone apologized for “the inconvenience”. The “inconvenience” of fearing debt collectors while convalescing in rehab has now been removed, as Vodafone has finally agreed to suspend the account.
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