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Dispute a mobile, phone, internet or TV bill

This advice applies to England

If you’ve been charged too much

You might get charged too much because:

  • your provider’s got your bill wrong

  • you’ve been charged more than your billing limit

If your provider's got your bill wrong

Ask your provider to reduce your bill if you think your bill is wrong.

You should double-check your bill before disputing it. There might be a good reason for it being higher than normal, eg you used your phone abroad or you bought some films on your TV service.

If you're charged more than your billing limit

For contracts started, renewed or extended from 1 October 2018, providers have to let you set a ‘billing limit’. This is the maximum they can charge you for each bill.

If your provider charges you more than the billing limit without asking your permission, you don’t have to pay the extra. Ask your provider to reduce the bill to the limit you agreed.

Write to your provider

Write a letter to your service provider to dispute the bill. You should include:

  • your name, address and contact number
  • your customer account or reference number
  • copies of the bill you are disputing
  • why you’re disputing the bill - say which charges are wrong or what your billing limit is

You can use the template letter to write to your service provider.

Send the letter to the service provider’s customer services department. Ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to show when you sent your letter. Keep a copy of your letter.

Your provider might charge you for a late payment if you don’t pay the bill and your dispute is unsuccessful. Check your terms and conditions.

If your service provider doesn’t agree, there are other steps you can take to solve your problem.

If you get a bill from a previous provider

Contact the company if they’ve billed you for a period after you cancelled or switched. Ask them for a full refund and to stop taking payments.

You can cancel any direct debits through your bank - this will stop the company from taking any more money from you. You’ll still need to contact the company for any refund you’re owed.

Contact your bank if the provider refuses to refund you or continues to take payments - they’ll investigate and might be able to get your money back.

Make a formal complaint through the company’s complaints procedure if they keep charging you.

If your name’s not on the bill

If you’re the only person named on the bill, the service provider can chase you for the full amount regardless of who else used the service (eg other people you live with).

You can’t get your service provider to chase someone who’s not named on the bill - you’ll have to get the money from them yourself.

If you’ve signed a joint contract with someone else, you’re both responsible for paying the bill, regardless of who’s used the service.

Write to your service provider if your name is not on the bill and you’re being chased. Tell them that you’re not a named account holder and you’re not legally responsible for the bill.

If your phone was lost or stolen

If someone else runs up a big bill on your mobile you’ll usually have to pay for the cost of the calls up until when you reported the phone missing. Read more about what to do if your phone is lost or stolen.

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