I recently changed mobile phone networks, from T-Mobile to Vodafone. Nothing to do with T-Mobile’s service or anything – just that Martin was moving to Vodafone (as part of getting a company phone from his new employers), and it’s cheaper for us both to be on the same network.
Now, Martin’s move was easy. He simply stopped using the old phone, cancelled one contract and signed another. But I wanted to port my number, because it’s fairly memorable, and I don’t want to have to tell everyone that it’s changed.
So I got a “Final Statement” from T-Mobile a little while ago, and the amount on it was automatically debited from my bank account. All well and good.
But today I get a letter from T-Mobile, with a “Revised final statement”. Apparently they charged me £12.80, but the last bill was £11.41. The front page contains the following text (all text formatting original and not my fault):
Revised final statement cr £1.39
||cr £1.39 <- from last bill
|Total we will carry forward
||cr £1.39 to your next bill
This is your revised final bill. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, please pay any outstanding amount as soon as possible.
So, since I pay by direct debit, if I owe money, they’ll take it from my account. But if I am owed money, they’ll carry it foward to my next bill. Except that was my final bill. Ah, bureaurocracy!
Gentle readers, I want your input. Do I:
- Ring them up and request that it be deposited in my account, or
- Leave it, or
- Something else (you suggest what)
If this is on the up and up, neither option profits anyone.
If I ring them, I have to do it on their “local rate number” and thread my way through their hold queue. Assuming I can get to a real person, I’ll be out the time and phone bill money. Meanwhile, they’ll be paying the person on the other end of the phone, plus bank transfer charges. What do you want to bet that exceeds £1.39?
If I leave it, they get £1.39 of my money, plus any interest it may earn over time, as a free gift. If it’s a snafu, then they’ll quickly spend more than £1.39 keeping me on the books and printing and posting monthly statements saying I have this credit.
On the other hand, maybe it’s more sinister. £1.39 may not look like much, but if they’re doing this systematically, and if they then don’t send any more bills out to customers they do it to, it could add up. Is this the trailing thread of a massive fraud?
Email me or leave me comments…tell me what I should do! I’ll report any results on this blog as they happen.