Last month, I switched from Vodafone to The Phone Co-op. I was unhappy that Vodafone had been let off £6 billion in taxes, at a time when care homes, libraries and schools are all being hacked at.
Twice I checked – once by e-mail and once over the phone – that I wouldn’t be charged for breach of contract. Of course not, I was reassured.
Then today I get an e-mail telling me my bill’s ready to view online (access now defunct since the account’s closed). I call up and they tell me it’s… charges for breach of contract.
I’m afraid I gasped a bit like I’d been confronted by the pantomime villan, maybe a bit of a melodramatic reaction. But they cancelled the charge there and then, so quickly and without a whisper of a row that I was very suspicious.
It’s frustrating that companies seem to try to slip in odd payments in the hope customers don’t notice. It’s unforgivable that companies with big profits can’t act ethically and pay taxes they owe which benefit everyone.
If you are thinking of changing phone companies or your contract’s about to end, I’d recommend The Phone Co-op. They use the Orange network , so aren’t entirely independent, but they do plough their profits back into some worthwhile causes.
Watch out for extra charges from your old company, though.