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Dispute a mobile, phone, internet or TV bill

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

If you’ve been charged the wrong amount

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.

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 not right

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

Send the letter to the service provider’s customer services department. If you want to be sure they receive your letter, send it recorded delivery. Or get a proof of posting certificate of evidence that you sent it. Keep a copy of your letter.

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

If your service provider doesn’t agree, you should make a formal complaint through the company’s complaints procedure.

If you’re still not happy, you can use alternative dispute resolution, which is a way of solving disagreements without going to court. A third party will mediate to try and reach a solution.

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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