A plumber is 'fuming' after EE charged him £24 a month for almost four years for a phone he doesn't even have.
Mark Reid believes he is around £1,000 out of pocket over the contract mix-up – and to add insult to injury said he was only offered £100 in compensation.
The 55-year-old from Walton, Liverpool, discovered he was still paying £24.50 a month for the phone in April – almost four years after he thought the contract had ended.
He told the Liverpool Echo : "I was fuming that they'd been taking money off me for so long."
Mark originally took out a contract for the phone with the EE mobile network in 2013.
But after the phone went missing in October 2013, he said he contacted EE to cancel the contract, but agreed to pay it until the end of October 2015.
In April 2019, he was shocked to discover that the £24.50 was still coming out of his account every month.
When Mark contacted EE they informed him that he had not cancelled the contract but suspended the SIM card in the missing device.
EE said that when the contract ended they sent notifications to the SIM card telling him that the contract had expired and he was still being charged.
The company said it sent letters and logged the payments on Mark's online account.
But Mark says that because his phone was missing he had not received any messages on that SIM card for the past six years.
Although EE offered six and then 12 months' money – around £300 – back as a goodwill gesture, Mark was still not satisfied and took the matter to the communications ombudsman.
The ombudsman ruled that EE should pay £100 in compensation.
Mark said: "They must have known that there was no activity on the phone for years, no texts, no photos, no data, nothing.
"I think the whole thing is totally unfair, and it is basically tantamount to theft. They should have contacted me at the end of the contract and asked me if I wanted to keep paying."
An EE spokesperson said: “We contact all EE mobile customers a number of times before their contracts come to an end, as well as afterwards, clearly informing them of their options.
"We sent letters to Mr Reid during his contract, all his charges were on our online billing platform, My EE, and we encourage customers to check their bills regularly and to let us know if there’s an issue.
"When Mr Reid contacted us in 2019 to query his account, we offered a gesture of goodwill amounting to one year of charges and closed the account immediately.”
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