‘My credit score was nearly zero’: Ex-Vodafone customer left unable to buy new car after error by firm meant it tried to take payment for FIVE YEARS
- An ex-Vodafone customer found out the firm had been trying to take money
- She realised when trying to lease a car and found out her credit score was low
- The phone company apologised for the error and said it had removed the mark
An ex-Vodafone customer had her credit score ruined after an error at the phone firm left her wrongly being charged.
Olivia Smith, 25, only found out her score was left in tatters after trying to buy a Range Rover Evoque, while the blot has also left her worrying about the potential of getting accepted for a mortgage.
The problem started around a decade ago when Olivia’s parents were both with Vodafone and she had a contract under her mother’s name, due to being under the age of 16.
Vodafone mistakenly tried to take a payment from a customer, leaving her with bad credit
Years later, Olivia, from Dover, and her mother rang Vodafone to take her from under her mother’s contract and onto her own one, which she would pay.
However, Olivia kept receiving the bills rather than her mother. After calling the company, it turned out it had actually just swapped their names so now Olivia was the main account holder and her mother was the add-on.
Frustratingly, her mother then couldn’t speak to Vodafone anymore as she wasn’t the main account name so when trying sort it out, they both had to be there.
This, she says, was never resolved and a while after Olivia decided to leave Vodafone for O2 who she has now been with for nearly five years.
Recently, the lease was up on Olivia’s car and she decided to upgrade to a Range Rover Evoque.
She went to the dealership, designed the car and paid the deposit – but then received the news that her credit had been declined because her score was too low. She says she wasn’t far off zero.
Range Rover advised her to go home, get onto Experian and find out what the problem was.
Olivia was frustrated to learn her and her mother’s account had been put in her name (stock image)
It turned out when she left Vodafone, it did not close her account down properly and had been trying to take a payment for a one month bill out of her account.
However, because she closed the account there was no payment details meaning it had tried to take the money for nearly five years.
She contacted Vodafone which explained this was a computer error and apologised. It removed the error and said her credit score would return back to where it was supposed to be.
Checking every few days, she could see her score getting better but then after nearly 30 days, the ‘bill’ had tried to be taken out again, making her credit score drop again.
Vodafone again promised the case had been closed and the ‘bill’ was removed.
They gave her a £30 Vodafone voucher, despite the fact she was no longer with the firm, but she put this on her mother’s account so she could benefit from it.
Since then her score is increasing but still not where she believes it should be.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: ‘Vodafone would like to apologize for the oversight and we are doing all we can to make sure this does not happen again.
‘Our team has removed the late payments marks from the customer’s credit report, and this incident should have no negative impact on the customer’s credit score moving forward.’
Vodafone added it had offered an Amazon voucher and said any bad credit left on Olivia’s score would not be from them.
Checking your credit score
A credit score, also known as a credit rating, is a number that reflects the likelihood of you paying credit back.
Lenders will look at your credit history when they calculate your credit score, which will show them the level of risk in lending to you.
The higher your credit score, the better your chances of being accepted for credit, at the best rates.
Your credit score will be good if you consistently make payments on time and put your name on the electoral roll, for example.
However, you could have a more negative rating for having records on your report that may look negative to companies, such as late payments and defaults.