Just before heading off on his holiday to Italy, Harry* decided to upgrade his phone. He bought a new phone from his provider on a monthly repayment plan and signed up for an international roaming pack.

When Harry arrived in Italy, his new phone would not work. Unable to call the provider, he contacted his wife online and asked her to call them on his behalf. However, his wife was not authorised on the account and was not able to sort the issue for him.

Not long after, Harry’s phone started working so he assumed that his provider had fixed the issue. When Harry got back home from his holiday, he made a complaint through TDR about his inability to use the phone, his wife’s inability to assist in an emergency, and the roaming pack charges for that period.

His provider agreed to wipe the outstanding amount on the phone repayment plan if Harry returned the phone. However, they would not wipe the costs for ‘services used’ (which included data, calls and text messages). The provider pointed to their terms and conditions, and privacy policy regarding authorities to act. They wanted Harry to pay the phone repayment and roaming charges for the period until he returned the phone. Harry agreed to return the phone, accepted that his wife was not authorised to act on his behalf but he refused to pay for the ‘services used.’

TDR’s Resolution Practitioner began looking into the issue. The Resolution Practitioner was able to confirm that a network fault had occurred for 48 hours, which resulted in Harry’s phone problems. However, once the fault was fixed Harry was able to use his phone and his records showed significant data usage between then and now.  

Harry and his provider were unable to reach an agreement over the outstanding charges; therefore the TDR Resolution Practitioner was required to make a decision on the matter based on the information provided and discussions held with both parties. The Resolution Practitioner determined that Harry was liable to pay the outstanding amount for the services provided.


*Names have been changed to protect our customers’ identities.