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Vodafone refuse to engage in mediation, forcing me to take them to court... ...again

2: Seeker
2: Seeker

I’ve been in dispute with Vodafone since March last year.  One of their customers used my phone number as an alternative contact, I’ve been receiving their bills since November 2021.  I contacted VDF to get them to stop but they continued.  In March  I was assured that the texts would stop.  I said if I received any more I’d charge £250 per hour for dealing with them.  They continued. I sent VDF an invoice for £3,000, they ignored it.  I took them to court. They said that the claim was lost in their system and didn’t receive it, after I gained a judgement by default.  They asked for the order to be set aside, as I had no Cause of Action, which the court has granted, though the judge says that she will allow my claim to be amended to a Data Protection claim.  

The texts from VDF stopped but I have been receiving calls from two separate debt recovery agencies who have somehow got my number, despite my repeated requests, and VDF’s repeated assurance that my number should not be shared with any third party.  The VDF customer has failed to pay his bill and the debt recovery agencies have been using my number to seek payment.

VDF have appointed solicitors RWK Goodman to act for them and all communication since July has been through them.  The court hearing was conducted by telephone on 6th October.  VDF contacted me literally one minute prior to the case commencing. I answered but ended the call immediately so I have no idea why they were contacting me. I was contacted again by VDF the following day.  I asked why they were calling but they didn’t give a satisfactory answer, saying that I wanted to make a subject access request and they were following this up.  I felt that this was harassment and witness intimidation.  

RWK Goodman tried to claim over £4k in costs but the judge made no order as to costs.

I have reported this matter to the ICO and await their response.  The ICO have not contacted me to inform me that my data has been compromised, so I assume VDF have not reported this matter to them.

I have always been amenable to mediation, though VDF have rejected this out of hand.  CICAS agreed to mediate even though I'm not a VDF customer.

My latest email to RWK Goodman...

"I am obviously disappointed, though not at all surprised that Vodafone have chosen to reject, out of hand, not only my counteroffer, which amounts to substantially less than it will cost to take this matter before the Court again, but also the offer of allowing CISAS to mediate a settlement, following their extraordinary and unprecedented offer of doing so despite my not being a Vodafone customer.  As stated in my last email, I am also open to any other form of alternative dispute resolution, though it appears this has been given no consideration whatsoever before being rejected.  


I received notification from the Court last week that my application now stands struck out, and that a formal application to reinstate /extend time/relief from sanctions would be required.  I do intend to continue to pursue this matter and will amend my claim from £3,000 to £5,000 to reflect the additional time and effort I have had to expend.  I fully understand that the Court might award a lower amount, or nothing at all, though I trust that the Judge will consider which party has made genuine attempts to settle out of court when awarding costs.


Judging by the caveats included in your offers to settle out of Court, Vodafone seem very sensitive to adverse publicity.  This is hardly surprising with 87% of 17,296 reviews on Trustpilot rating their service as “very bad”.  I had hoped to keep costs to a minimum by representing in person, though I will now be seeking professional legal advice.  I will be setting up a Crowdfunding appeal to pay for any costs I incur and disseminating details of my experience with Vodafone on a dedicated webpage and across all social media platforms.  Should the Court award costs in my favour I will donate any monies raised to the Access to Justice Foundation."


I'll post details of the crowdfunding site as and when it is set up.


16: Advanced member
16: Advanced member

Ten years ago I was standing in my 84 year old grandmothers back garden when out of the blue I received a call on my mobile, it was a debt collector chasing a debt for an amount in the name of an individual I can't remember. I had at this point in time had my mobile the best part of 10 years, I told the debt collector I wasn't the individual they were looking for and that the mobile number they had dialled I had been using for years... She called me liar, I told her I didn't care if she believed me or not and that she won't be getting a penny out of me! She got sarcastic with me, threatening to call me multiple times a day etc. I hung up, blocked the number and moved on with my life!

16: Advanced member
16: Advanced member

The original poster stated:

One of their customers used my phone number as an alternative contact, I’ve been receiving their bills since November 2021. 

So no services were taken out in their name. They just received unwanted notifications is my understanding?

I’ve been contacted by two separate debt recovery agencies by phone and text asking for payment of somebody else’s debt.  I was receiving this person’s bills for five months and repeatedly tried to contact VDF to stop this.  Their customer service process is woeful, the Tobi chat system is unfit for purpose, and when a real person finally speaks, they are either unable to address the query, or give false information to rid themselves of the problem.  I was assured on several occasions that the text messages I was receiving would stop.  They didn’t.  I was assured that if I called in to my local Vodafone store they would be able to resolve the matter.  They couldn’t.  I was given a totally fictitious customer services number to call.  When I pointed out that the number didn’t have enough digits I was assured that it was a legitimate number.  It wasn’t.

I took VDF to court and won a judgement against them for £3,000, though VDF appealed to have this revoked - at a cost to them of over £4,000 as the Judge made no award as to costs.  Vodafone called me literally one minute before the hearing, despite my repeated requests, and their repeated assurances that my number was not to be used for any reason whatsoever.  

I am now taking this matter back to court, having repeatedly offered mediation or alternative dispute resolution.  The mediation service VDF use (CISAS) have agreed to take part, despite my not being a VDF customer, but VDF have refused their offer.  The courts are massively overstretched and VDF are deliberately adding to this workload unnecessarily.  I have made it clear that I will accept any outcome of mediation to prevent this matter going to court.


It seems that anyone who signs up for a VDF account can input any number they like as a second contact number.   However, it has occurred to me that VDF would send bills to the primary number associated with the account, not to a second number.  I am now convinced that the error was on the part of VDF, and not their customer.


Despite the inconvenience and distress caused, VDF has not once accepted any responsibility whatsoever, nor have they offered any form of apology.

Woeful service.