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Pay as you go

Arrears shown on PAYG account. All enquiries hit dead end

vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

I have a PAYG a/c, with a Big Value Bundle. Prior to that I had an ordinary PAYG.

My dashboard tells me I am in arrears of £452.91, and it went up by £50 on the day I started making enquiries about it. I've tried Customer Service several times, Complaints 3 times, and visited my local Vodafone shop twice. Everyone says I don't owe anything, but the dashboard clearly states that my "account is in arrears" and when I click through to "make payment" the debt is given as £452.91. No one can explain it. They've checked back to the beginning of my account in 2014, checked both my postal addresses - they are adamant I do NOT owe money - I agree - but the website says I do. I cannot ignore this but Vodafone don't seem interested and won't give me any explanation. I tried online chat but it never loads on my browser (tried Firefox and Chrome). The phone lines have been uniformly appalling - mostly ending with cut offs, and no one has followed up despite promising to do so. No one can answer the question "Why does my dashboard say I am £452.91 in arrears on a PAYG account?"

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16 REPLIES 16
MarkD
Moderator

Hi @vodkaphonejill, we understand your frustration if you've only ever held a Pay as you Go account with us. When you sign into the My Vodafone online account, is the number showing your correct mobile number? Have you ever received any postal letters or e-mails from us about a balance to pay? 

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

thank you for your reply. I've been through all these questions NUMEROUS times. I've supplied screenshots.

No one at Vodafone can find out why this appears on my dashboard, Nor do they keep their promises to follow up. 

 

Yes, it's the correct number, no I haven't received any requests for payment,

 

EXCEPT FOR THE ONE I SEE EVERY TIME I OPEN THE DASHBOARD TELLING ME I AM IN ARREARS TO THE TUNE OF £452.91. I don't know anyone who would ignore a message like that, do you? I've been through all layers of customer service, spoken to 3 people at the Complaints number, and asked for a deadlock letter or escalation. I've done all that again at the Vodafone shop and they saw the messages themselves. Nothing happens, although promises get made and not kept. Except I get asked a few more repeated questions I have answered numerous times. Why does my dashboard say this? Why don't Vodafone do anything about it? Why can't Vodafone sort out their own web portal?

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MarkD
Moderator

Thanks for getting back to us @vodkaphonejill. If you drop us a message over the Facebook or Twitter channels with your mobile number and your Community username, the team would love to help with this. You can find how to contact us here

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

I do not wish to deal with an arrears matter via non-ntrusted 3rd party platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.

I have also tried your chat on two browsers on a desktop PC (firefox and Chrome) and on an android device, and it never loads.

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MarkD
Moderator

We would recommend that you give us a call up @vodkaphonejill. We know that you've tried this before, however, we would need your account details to take a look a query which we can't take on the Community 🙂

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

It's an ordinary payg SIM with a Big Value Bundle option.  the Big Value Bundle (£10) autorenews each month but it is paid for with the credit on the phone, and we keep that topped with regular manual payments - NOT by Direct Debit, NOT by a contract. Everyone assures me that Big Value Bundle is a PAYG account which it is.

Everyone acknowledges that we do NOT owe money to Vodafone, they've done checks back to 2014, yet the dashboard on My Account clearly states "you are in arrears, make payment now" and when I click through on that button it reveals the amount - of several hundred pounds. It went up by £50 the day I started complaining about it. Vodafone want me to ignore it, but simply cannot explain why a PAYG dashboard, with no access to billing (because PAYG can't run up bills) shows "you are in arrears" to the tune of several hundred quid. Believe me - I've spent HOURS on this with Vodafone, and they haven't got a clue why it's happening and they have run credit checks on previous addresses - we've all only every had PAYG - NEVER contracts not even rolling ones - they keep telling me I don't owe them money - but the website stubbornly insists "you are in arrears" and the amount goes UP. Just spent two hours on the chat, and yet again been promised a call back.  they would like me to just ignore it - but who ignores a website from a utility telling you "you are in arrears" to the tune of several hundred pounds?

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

Sorry -- but I have history with internet privacy campaigning going back years. There is no way you are going to convince me to use either Twitter or Facebook to share this sort of thing in an attributable way. I simply do not trust them and no one should trust them. I've watched Zuckerberg giving evidence to the US congress (and refusing to give evidence to our parliament) - and although I use Twitter, I don't trust them either. Millions do, but that is their decision - they are Twitter and Facebook's product, not their customers.

I finally managed to get the chat to work, and after TWO hours on line with three or was it four? separate people following one another, they finally escalated it to complaints - but I had to be very very stubborn repeatedly refusing their assurances that everything was fine. They are incredibly resistant to escalating issues. I also did some research about their massive Ombudsman fines  back in 2016 - over billing and customer service, and discovered the Resolver complaints traker recommended by moneysupermarket.com - all stored away for future reference. NO company should be this awful at custmer service - I'd estimate I've spent somewhere between 12-24 hours in total usually in two hour stretches, and it still isn't resolved - just escalated. I did mention near the end that their website was making a defamatory statement about my wife, by stating that she was "in arrears" for hundreds of pounds, and it was visible to me as an added user on their account, and that it was actionable in law. Maybe that finally got me escalated? I don't know. Best wishes.

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bubblefish
3: Seeker

Hi

 

You are not the only one; Tonight my partner checked his payg vfone account and it said he was 60p in arrears?

so i logged on mine and omg it said i was £108.30 in arrears - ive been on live chat - got put thru to someone - she was checking into it with the payg team - I was told that its an error and that it will be removed

I have clearly said i do not wish to see i am in arrears at the top of my payg account as i have never had arrears at all - she assured me this was being worked on by a team and it should vanish shortly

My concern is how many 1000s of folk are seeing that and clicking on pay it now !!! not realising - this isnt good at all - think it needs to be escalated really maybe to martin lewis resolver complaints or trading standards. I will give them a couple of weeks to sort it but after that im afraid im gonna escalate it

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

An update on my original post.

After a lot of hard work (I started on this sev. weeks ago) I forced escalation to Complaints, via Online Chat (telephone cust. services were a total repeated failure). I got personal complaints handler who has just this week got the "you are in arrears" entry from my wife's PAYG a/c, removed.

However, the "you are in arrears" statement is still on MY PAYG dashboard, and she tells me it will escalate to over £200 during September but she is now working on getting it removed from my PAYG a/c too.

She has admitted it is a systemic problem not an "individual a/c" problem but we are nowhere nearer an explanation.

The way I have left it is that unless they can provide an explanation and a timescale for fixing the systemic problem, then I will request a deadlock letter.

One thing to note is that AFAICS it isn't actually possible to "pay" these arrears, when you click on to the "Make Payment" option, on the new page, which tells you how much you are "in arrears", the payment buttons are greyed out - but I haven't checked all the way through to see that is the case with every payment option (card/credit etc)

I recommend anyone with the energy to raise this with 3rd party consumer bodies - I tried a newspaper consumer column but got no reply. Ofcom won't do anything till you get a deadlock letter. If you have a Twitter a/c you might like to highlight it on social media tagging @VodafoneUK, to alert other customers out there.

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

I've now checked that payment page - after jiggling around with the various options, pay full amount, pay lesser amount, pay with existing card, pay with a new card etc. the Make Payment button goes live again from grey to red. If I get really fed up, I set it up to pay 00.01p, on the existing card, and it opened up the "confirm payment details" card payment page. I stopped it there - but it looks to me vey much as it payment is "possible". It gave me a purchase reference ID and asked for my name and card CVC number. I stopped at that point and didn't put the transaction through so I don't know if it would have worked, but it was looking okay up to that point.

 

So - an important question for Vodafone - HAS anyone paid any money via this portal? Now that WOULD be interesting. Because that would be money that Vodafone weren't entitled to. Where would it go? How would the customer get it back? Would they ever know? Vodafone have up to now told me it doesn't matter because "the payment button was greyed out". But that clearly isn't true. Because it doesn't STAY greyed out when you actually try to pay. And why shouldn't you pay - it says "you are in arrears". So many people WILL pay. BIG PROBLEM!

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bubblefish
3: Seeker

i had same problem just got mine fixed - it was a bit stressful but its now gone - if you want to do what i did

Pay as you go account in arrears: Problem solved

I had same problem as alot of others my payg account showed I had £130 in arrears - never had debt on payg before - its now been fixed so beware its a bit of hassle this is what I had to do  caused me a bit of stress:

  • Raised a complaint using Martin Lewis 'Resolver' complaints from that website
  • Then I got 2/3 phone calls from the general call centre - they didnt understand  much
  • Then I raised it with  the 'thisismoney.co.uk' site  (Daily Mail)
  • Then i got a phone call from Vfone Directors office - so now I was getting somewhere
  • I now dont have any arrears - BUT it was a bit stressful as they didnt warn me but they had to reset my online account - and delete the old one - I wasnt warned about this and so I was made aware when loads of texts started coming in saying account web packs cancelled etc etc. So I sent another email and got a call later - explaining what they had to do - They said it was a problem with my account - I said doubt it as many other people have the problem anyway - they told me to go to the vfone account on a certain day and instead of logging in I had to register my phone again  and create a new password - well it worked - still on same phone number and I still have my web pack and vfamily group and there is no arrears alert at the top of my account page.

So I just wanted to let anyone know if its doing your nut in trying to speak to the call centre - maybe try what I did above but just beware of what they had to do.

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker
Mine eventually got fixed without that hassle and they did admit it was a system issue not an individual a/c problem. Now to see how they get on with my husband's a/c.
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bubblefish
3: Seeker

Oh right you got yours sorted without all the hassle I had to go through - well done

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LDT44
2: Seeker

Have an identical indication, for a lower value. No way it can be a genuine billing as PAYG is an advance payment for all services. An online 'chat' with an agent confirmed this situation, and was told "Its a technical glitch and please do not worry you do not need to make any payment as you are on pay as you go services. The team is working on it and soon the alert will disappear."

That is not particularly reassuring, based on a long history of other events, too boring to discuss here.

 

Voda_arrears_01.jpg

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LDT44
2: Seeker

Payment IS possible, although I have not gotten that far. All option selections are active, nothing 'greyed out'. My chat agent also asked did I pay, to which I responded "No way. I am well acquainted with potential scams !!"

Weblink to the payment system appears to be clean, but who knows these days. Vodafone is notoriously slow in back end fixes to systemic problems, possibly due to the vast amount of outsourcing they use to get jobs done. It should be relatively easy to block all PAYG accounts from showing 'arrears' notifications IMHO as a (former) technologist with an overseas operator.

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vodkaphonejill
2: Seeker

As the OP on this thread, can confirm that now both my wife's and my a/cs no longer show any arrears so I didn't have the chance to pay 1p of the arrears as a test - but it was ready to take credit card details when I experimentally started a dummy run. It looks to me as if they are expending hours of customer time, and customer service staff time, and complaints staff time, and shop staff time, to deal with each customer on an individual basis - as you rightly say - it would be a lot quicker to deal with the systems problem but either they don't want to or can't do that - which reflects VERY badly on their competence and priorities. But this IS a systems problem - and what worries me is whether behind it all there is a data breach/security issue that they simply want to cover up. But I doubt any mainstream tech journalists will cover THAT angle.

But I wish they would. Vodafone are telling customers they are in arrears, and it would appear that they are ready to let us pay money to deal with those arrears. That reminds me of the crime known as fraud - and it certainly makes me think about it. Surely that should worry Vodafone?

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