If your phone has been lost or stolen, you should do these things immediately:
You may still be liable for any calls made using your phone until you report it lost or stolen if you don't report it within this timeline.
This will also be the case if someone else makes unauthorised international calls on your mobile.
If you’re charged for unauthorised calls you should try and negotiate with the network and see if they will reduce the bill.
Sometimes they'll reduce a bill for unauthorised calls as a gesture of goodwill but legally they don’t have to do this. They will treat each case on a case by case basis.
Your network won’t normally replace your handset free of charge and you’ll have to carry on paying your monthly line rental until the end of your contract.
If your mobile phone is insured or covered by your home insurance policy you will be usually be able to claim for a new handset.
To dispute your bill, write a letter to your service provider. You should include:
Send the letter to the service provider’s customer services department and keep a copy of your letter.
If you don’t pay by direct debit you could include payment for the part of the bill which is not in dispute. This will show goodwill on your part and stop your provider from disconnecting you.
Furthermore, your mobile phone provider should cease any collection activity whilst investigating a queried or disputed bill.
It may be unreasonable for your service provider to charge you a late payment charge if you hold back an amount that you are disputing, though it depends what your terms and conditions say.
If the charges turn out to be for services you’ve used and the charges are detailed in your terms and conditions, you’ll probably have to pay them.
If you still dispute what you’ve been charged, or you think the charges are unfair or were not in your terms and conditions, you should make a formal complaint and follow the procedure as set out above.
If you’re not happy with the way in which your complaint has been handled you can take it to one of two dispute resolution schemes – Ombudsman Services: Communications or Cisas.
These are independent complaints schemes that will consider a complaint about a mobile phone service provider if you haven’t been able to resolve your problem directly.
But you must give your mobile provider a chance to resolve your complaint first. If it’s not resolved within eight weeks you should request a ‘deadlock’ letter.
You will then be able to take your mobile complaint to the Ombudsman Services: Communications or Cisas (whichever one your mobile service provider belongs to).
The Ombudsman Services: Communications and Cisas deal only with complaints about mobile service providers (the company you pay for your mobile service) and not about other mobile phone retailers that ‘resell’ mobile contracts but don’t operate their own service (for example, Carphone Warehouse).
Both schemes can make your mobile phone service provider do the following:
These dispute resolution services can also recommend a mobile service provider changes its policies or procedures.
You can also contact Ofcom, the telecoms regulator. It cannot help with your individual problem, but it’s good to let it know if you have a major problem with a company.
Ofcom monitors all consumer issues and can investigate a company if it finds serious ongoing problems with a particular provider.