Moneywise fights for your rights - EE, British Gas, Bott & Co

EE has left me without a working phone for weeks

At the beginning of July, I logged on to the EE website to transfer my number over from my current provider, Vodafone, as I was joining EE on a better contract. It has now been more than two weeks and I still can't send any messages or receive any calls – this process is meant to take one day.

I have been in constant contact with EE during this period but I feel like I am being fobbed off. Nothing has been sorted out and I am seriously considering cancelling my contract with it and going with another phone network instead. Please can you help?

Moneywise says…

These days, most of us would struggle without a mobile phone for little more than two hours, let alone two weeks. RM simply wanted to keep her number when she swapped networks – something that should have been easily done within 24 hours.

Her frustration was made worse by her impression that EE was not dealing with her complaint properly – despite her contacting the company almost daily via the internet and over the phone.

After Moneywise got in touch, she was contacted by a member of EE's executive office within 24 hours, who apologised for the delay in transferring her phone number.

She was told that the delay was in part due to her previous network, Vodafone, which had not sent some information needed to complete the transfer.This, combined with a technical issue on EE's part, led to her being left without a useable mobile.

Fortunately, EE got her phone working a couple of days after she was contacted by the executive office and, as a gesture of goodwill, EE offered her £154 in compensation.

She said: "It was a nightmare being without a phone and it seemed like everyone I spoke to couldn't help at all. Even barracking them on Twitter didn't seem to help.

"When I finally spoke to someone who knew what they were doing, they were apologetic and obviously the gesture of goodwill has helped, too, but really I am just glad to have my phone working again."

Have you been treated unfairly? Let Moneywise know and we'll see if we can help

British Gas put a debt collector on to me to pay for incorrect bill

My husband and I recently moved house and wanted to keep our existing energy provider, Npower.

During the switchover, Npower asked us to supply meter readings and on 15 May we received a bill from British Gas, the provider to the new property.

A week later, we received a final bill, which seemed very high, and the meter readings on this bill were higher than the readings on the earlier bill.

After speaking to both companies, I was told that Npower would need to reissue the correct meter readings to British Gas and a correct final bill would be sent.

After we got back from honeymoon, we found a letter from British Gas demanding payment and then, at the end of June, a debt collection agency sent a demand for the final bill of £118.11. Can you help?

Moneywise says…

What a confusing situation for our reader to find herself in. Moneywise got in touch with both Npower and British Gas to see what had gone wrong.

British Gas said Npower only sent estimates initially, which led to it issuing the unexpectedly high final bill.

It told VT that she needed to get Npower to send the actual meter readings if it was to provide an accurate final bill. Npower said it did this but in the time it took it to do so, British Gas had sent VT's debt to a debt collection agency – it had failed to place a 'hold' on the account. British Gas has apologised for this error.

After Moneywise became involved, it took a week for VT's account to be amended. British Gas sent her a refund of £20, as the accurate final meter reading showed she was in credit, and a further £50 cheque as a goodwill gesture.

Our reader said: "I felt disappointed that despite British Gas advising me that it was fine to wait for the corrected meter readings from Npower, it still put a debt collection agency on to me. Hopefully, now it's resolved."

Signing on the dotted line

Obligations to pay have been a recurring theme at Moneywise this month. We were contacted by a reader who agreed with a personal claims company to begin a claim for an injury he suffered in 2012.

He then received a call from solicitors, Bott & Co, who sent him paperwork and arranged for him to have a medical examination. At this point, our reader decided he no longer wanted to pursue the claim and notified the firm accordingly.This was accepted but he then received a bill in the post for £399 for the work the solicitors had done to date – even though he had never signed any documentation.

Moneywise spoke to Bott & Co and it quickly provided us with an explanation. After checking the call, it confirmed he had entered into a verbal agreement with the firm, giving it consent to start work on his case right away. This meant although our reader still had his 14-day right to cancel under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, he still needed to pay for any services provided until the date of cancellation.

Our reader was happy with the service Bott & Co provided and didn't want his issue treated as a complaint – he just wanted to stop his claim and didn't see why he should have to pay.

Bott & Co has agreed to waive the bill and apologised to him for any inconvenience caused but it serves as a reminder to know what you are agreeing to when large payments are involved.