Published on January 12th, 2016 | by FinanceLoophole1
Can’t Pay My Mobile Phone Bills
How To Avoid Mobile Phone Debt
Thousands of people struggle to pay their mobile phone bills each month. The reality is that if you miss just one of your monthly payments you can quickly find yourself in an ever increasing spiral of final demands as the debt mounts up. We get regular emails saying “I can’t pay mobile phone bills – what can I do?” as people start to get into mobile phone debt.
Don’t panic we can help! We have put together some top tips and tricks to help you get out of phone debt quickly.
So what can you do if you find that your finances run short and you are regularly unable to pay your mobile phone bill because it’s simply unaffordable? Don’t panic – read on for some practical, straightforward advice on what to do to get you out of your mobile phone debts.
Top Reasons For Mobile Phone Debt
The most common debt issue we come across is mobile phone debt. This happens for a number of reasons but it is normally down to a significant change in a person’s financial circumstances such as losing a job, divorce, an unexpected large bill needs paying, Etc.
When someone loses a job it’s not always easy to keep up payments on existing contracts such as a mobile phone. However – we all know how important a phone can be if you are looking for a new job, so it is best to avoid being cut off because of non-payment of your phone bill.
Another reason for people being unable to pay their mobile phone bill is when the bill is massive due to unexpected additional costs incurred, for instance when going abroad on holiday. Some people don’t realise their bills can be un-expectedly huge even when they stay in the UK. We have had dealings with a few people who had massive additional roaming costs on the Wales coast as their UK service provider was unavailable and their phone latched on to phone service providers in Ireland instead.
It is not just roaming that can lead to unexpectedly large bills. If you have a limited data service and you download more than your data allowance the charges can soon mount up to an unaffordable level.
We have also heard from people who cannot afford to pay their mobile phone bills because they have simply signed up to the wrong contract and realised too late what they have let themselves in for. For this reason, it is very important when you take out a new phone contract that you read the fine print – and make sure that you can afford it. A phone contract is a binding credit agreement that can be difficult to get out of. However, it is not impossible so don’t give up and just struggle along paying your phone bill – get help now.
Stolen Phone Bills?
If your mobile phone is stolen, you should report it to your provider and the police as soon as possible. The sooner you do this the less likely it is that you will incur any costs because it is used. It is best to report the lost phone within 24 hours of the loss as many providers will impose a maximum of £100 bills resulting from unauthorised use of your phone.
If unauthorised calls are made from your mobile phone, but you did not report it quickly enough, you should try and negotiate with the network provider and see if they will reduce the bill for you, This is a goodwill gesture from them, they don’t have to it under the current legislation. We have unfortunately had to help a number of people where their stolen mobile phone has rung up very large bills in a short time, often bills can be in the thousands in just a couple of days.
What To Do If You Cannot Pay Your Mobile Phone Bill
- Identify your debt problems
- Review your monthly budget
- Contact your mobile phone provider
- Agree a repayment plan or Debt management plan
- Can you sell your expensive phone
- Investigate cheaper phone alternatives
Probably the most important thing to do if you are struggling with mobile phone debt is to get in touch with your mobile phone provider. Don’t ignore the issue or they may wallop you with a hefty cancelation fee on top of your outstanding bills. Once they are made aware of your financial problems they are obliged to help you as much as they can. Most of the phone companies are likely to be sympathetic and realise that circumstances can change.
With a bit of luck your phone provider will talk you through your options to enable you to get a more affordable phone deal. This should enable most people to find a suitable solution to their mobile phone bill nightmares. A word of warning though, they may say it is not possible for them to reduce your monthly payments on your mobile phone contract unless the initial contract period has expired. Mobile customers can face early contract exit fees as high as £800 which can make switching to a better tariff impossible if you already have substantial debts to deal with. If you are still within the initial period of your contract, don’t despair as there are ways of getting around this.
If your mobile phone debts have mounted up to such an extent that they are out of control and the mobile phone company is about to send in the bailiffs. The bailiffs can take away your goods to pay for the money you owe – it is time to take positive action against them – don’t wait any longer. One of the quickest ways of dealing with this situation is to get a Debt Management Plan (DMP) in place.
With a good quality DMP in place the people you owe money to are much more likely to quickly accept your reduced repayments, particularly when it is made through a trusted debt management plan experts such as Bright Debt Solutions. This is more than likely to be the most suitable way forward for most people with larger mobile phone bills which need paying. It is also suitable if you have other debts as well as on your mobile phone.
Finding A Cheaper Mobile Phone Service
If you are looking for a cheaper mobile phone deal there are some impartial phone comparison sites listed on the Ofcom consumer site http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio/price-comparison/
How To Reduce Your Mobile Phone Bills
Once you have contacted your phone provider you should also look to see what you can do personally to reduce your phone bills.
Look at your itemised bill and see where you are spending the most money.
- Are you exceeding your free minutes or going over your data limits?
- Are you regularly calling abroad?
This may be as simple as:-
- Don’t use the internet when you are not on a wifi network
- Don’t call premium rate phone services
- Don’t call expensive foreign numbers
A recent survey by Which showed that people are confused about how payments for their tariff and handset are combined in their mobile phone bills. They found that customers will often still be paying the full cost of their contract even after their handset element of their agreement has been paid in full. So make sure you stop paying for the handset once the initial contract finishes and you have paid for the handset as you should only be paying for the sim only element of the tariff after that point. Which reckons that if UK consumers did this, they could save £355million a year – that’s £92 each.
Please note that failing to pay your bill will likely result in your phone services being suspended until they receive your payment to clear your debt. It is more than likely to also have an impact on your credit history if you are repeatedly late in paying or miss your mobile contract payments entirely. This is going to have an impact on your credit score and will make it more difficult for you to get access to affordable credit facilities in the future.
What Companies Do Most People Have Trouble Paying Their Phone Bills With?
It will come as no surprise that we get most people coming to us from the companies who have the most customers. But the following companies stand out when it comes to people having problems paying their mobile phone bills.
- Three – 333 from a Three phone or 0333 300 3333
- Tesco Mobile – 4455 from a Tesco Mobile phone or 0345 301 4455
- Virgin Mobile – 789 from a Virgin Mobile phone or 0345 600 0789
- Vodafone – 191 from a Vodafone phone or 0333 304 0191
- EE – 150 from an EE phone or 07953 966 250
- Giffgaff – Log into giffgaff.com for an online agent
- O2 – 202 from an O2 phone or 0344 8090202
We’ve collected gathered together the customer service numbers you need to talk to someone If you’re having problems with your mobile phone bill.
Making A Complaint About Your Mobile Debt
If you have a complaint or dispute about your phone bill, it is best to write a letter to your service provider first to allow them to put the problem right for you. Send the letter to the service provider’s customer services department. Make sure you keep a copy of any correspondence regarding your dispute or complaint.
If your dispute or complaint is not resolved satisfactorily by your provider, you should complain to the Telecommunications Ombudsman at the address below, stating the details of the issues about your provider. First check that your phone provider is a member.
Ombudsman Services Communications
PO Box 730
Phone: 0330 440 1614 (standard call charges apply)
Fax: 01925 430 049
Textphone: 0330 440 1600
Calls to 03 numbers cost the same or less than calls to 01 and 02 prefixed numbers and are included as part of any inclusive minutes or discount package. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, fixed line or payphone.