Vodafone ‘appoints debt recovery agency’ to chase payment for dead woman’s bill

July 12, 2022 10:27 am
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Vodafone have been labelled mobile ‘mafia’ after it was claimed they unleashed a debt recovery agency to chase payment from a dead woman’s family.

Writer George Manbiot has accused the ‘aggressive’ communications giant of ‘harassing’ his mourning elderly father.

He suggested the company refused to allow his sister, who has been handed power of attorney, handle the issue and instead engaged debt recovery specialists.

Only once he uploaded a lengthy twitter rant on Monday to his near 500,000 followers did the company relent and finally close his late mother’s account, it was claimed.

Mr Manbiot fears Vodafone have a “habit of wringing money from bereaved families” after receiving worrying feedback online.


They told his sister she couldn’t close the account and ‘harassed’ his father instead (stock photo) (


Getty Images)

In the post, he called out the “hounding” and the distressing debt-collector threats, which were actioned before he took to social media.

Vodafone said sorry and told Mirror Online that they have waived any outstanding money owed.

He posted: “Four months after my mother passed away, @VodafoneUK still won’t cancel her account.

“Our calls, when we finally get through, have been met with extreme rudeness and aggression, and demands that my frail, confused father answers impossible, irrelevant questions. But it gets worse …

“After our repeated failure to have her account cancelled, we stopped the direct debit. In response, Vodafone appointed a debt recovery agency to seize the money *we do not owe it*, which has been serially harassing my father. Is this the corporate strategy?

“In either case, do not ever, ever get an account with Vodafone. It feels like working with the mafia – once you’re in, you can’t get out.”

It then appears the company got in touch – and he puts their climb down due to his sizeable following.

“Oh boy, now they’ve jumped,” he went on. “Couldn’t get it sorted fast enough. But what about people who don’t have half a million followers? As you can see from the responses, loads of people have been treated the same way. It suggests to me a habit of wringing money from bereaved families.

“My dad is elderly and very confused. My sister and I both have power of attorney, but Vodafone flatly refused to let her speak on his behalf. They insisted on talking to him, which made him highly distressed. Then, get this ….

“They said that he had to answer a number of questions. If he failed to answer the questions, they could not cancel the account. They included: What is your deceased wife’s phone number? and Give me the exact date when the contract started. Seriously.

“When he was unable to answer, they gave this as their reason for not cancelling the contract.

“When my sister told them she would cancel the direct debit, she was told “do what you like, but you’ll be in breach of contract.”

“This was after loads of phone calls, with waiting times of 45 minutes +, after which we were just sent from pillar to post, without result.

“When we cancelled the direct debit, the threatening phone calls from the debt collection agency began, all insisting on speaking only to my dad. We told them about his condition, but they kept coming, causing extreme anxiety and distress.”

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