Case Studies - Billing (including roaming)

His phone or a clone?

Customer claims he is being incorrectly invoiced and that his phone has been cloned.

A customer approached TDR after being pursued for an amount owing on their mobile data plan. 

The customer had purchased their plan in February 2020. In October, he contacted his provider to dispute charges in his July invoice and usage since then. The customer was unsatisfied with the provider’s response. Subsequently his phone was stolen, so he did not pursue the matter further until he received a call from a debt collector some months later. He contacted TDR to make a complaint about his provider.

The customer said their bill was wrong, as the usage noted was higher than what he had used. He claimed his phone was cloned and that it was up to the telecommunications provider to confirm that it was his phone that had used the data and not someone else’s.

The provider and customer could not reach an agreement together. The matter was quickly deadlocked* and adjudication was requested by the provider.

After considering the information provided by both the customer and their provider, the adjudicator determined that the customer was liable for the outstanding amount. The terms and conditions accepted by the customer stipulated that the customer is liable for all charges whether made by the customer or someone else. The adjudicator referred to a previous case note on the TDR website where if the customer was convinced the provider was incorrectly billing them, they should have minimised their losses by addressing the matter at an earlier date.


* Deadlock is when a complaint has been raised with a telecommunications company and has come to the end of the company's internal complaints procedure without being resolved, or when it's been six weeks or more since the customer contacted the company and the customer still doesn't have a resolution they are happy with, whichever comes first.