Problems ending a mobile contract

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Liliputian
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Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby Liliputian » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:25 pm

I wondered if anyone could offer any advice on a problem my wife is currently having ending a mobile contract with Vivacom. We spent most of this year in Bulgaria with the expectation/hope of staying until the end of the year, but came back to the UK in August. In the January my wife (who is Bulgarian) had taken out a 12-month mobile contract with Vivacom, and just before we left for the UK she went in to a Vivacom store to enquire about the best way to deal with the situation with the contract. The advice she received was that rather than end it there and then and pay a large fee for ending the contract early, it would be netter to continue paying the monthly fees until it ran out (for this we arranged her niece to go into the Vivacom shop every month to make the payment).

The contract however would not just automatically end after 12 months, so it would be necessary to give them one month's notice for it to finish, and in writing - an actual letter, so no email (mobile and internet providers obviously not yet ready to start trusting new technologies). It wasn't possible to give this notice more than one month before, as it had to be EXACTLY one month before! This meant that my wife couldn't give the notice before we left Bulgaria, and instead had to leave a letter with her niece giving her permission to give this notice to end the contract when the time came, so we thought this would be (relatively!) straightforward. Now it turns out that the letter must be stamped by a lawyer/notary as the letter is a legal document giving authority for someone else to act on her behalf, so the advice we have (short of my wife travelling to Bulgaria to do this herself) is that the only way to prevent the contract continuing beyond the initial 12 months she (thought she had) signed up for, is to travel to the Bulgarian embassy in London (would cost more than £50 on the train) to get a letter stamped officially, and then to send it to Bulgaria for her niece to hand over in time for the one month notice to end the contract (if we miss this date - in early December - then a further 12 month contract will apparently kick in).

This seems like nonsense to me, but my Bulgarian language isn't good enough to make too many meaningful enquiries myself into the regulations on this, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to advise. I suggested getting someone to pretend to go into the Vivacom shop pretending to be her, but apparently they check ID cards. I've asked her to ring the Vivacom head office to explain the situation and plead for some common sense, but she's not having much joy with the people she's spoken to so far.

Anyone any ideas?

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johndoe3
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby johndoe3 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:10 am

Vivacon is hard work. This was for internet.
Our experience with the scoundrels was very similar to yours.
This happened to us about 8 years ago.
Basically we went to shop in Varna in May, signed and paid for 12 months, though we knew that we would only need it for 6 months as we were returning to UK. In September.
We thought that we had signed up for a 12 month contract.
For some reason, which I cannot recall, we were only in Bulgaria for 3 weeks the following year.
The year after this in Bulgaria, we received a call from the local Vivacon office to inform us that we owed them money. Mrs Doe became rather heated and used various Anglo Saxon expletives, to the moron on the other end, who intimated that the police will be up shortly.
Anyway we ended up paying 6 months unused rental to these scamsters.
Whatever you decide on, do not let the scallywags into your bank account

How to get around this unfortunate situation-
EBAY.

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Mat
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby Mat » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:56 am

Mtel (or whatever it is now called) did the same with my wife and she ended up having to pay out the rest of the contract to get out of it. These people are absolute bastards but have the politicians in their pockets so there is not much to be done. When we left BG we had to pay the rest of the TV contract or they'll put a lien on your ID and come after you - private debt collection in BG is really easy and they'll sell your house from under you in a heartbeat. I tried to cancel my phone contract on a recent visit and they were adamant that they held a huge deposit and if I cancelled the contract they would keep it. Instead, I had to go through a lengthy process to request the deposit back, at which point I never heard from them again. Still not sure whether they had a deposit, but I'm pretty sure it was just one of their many lies to keep your account open. In future I'll just get pay as you go.

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ChrisF
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby ChrisF » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:22 pm

You'd have the same experience in the UK - a contract is a contract, if you sign it you guarantee payment for a set period of time. Try walking away from a BT or Sky contract and you'd soon have debt collectors after you no matter where you lived in the EU

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truckyboy
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby truckyboy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:55 pm

In the uk i am sure the contracts debate was sorted, i was with Virgin and wanted to go back to sky, the sky agent told me i didnt have to finish the contract, but just give them a months notice, the same with changing fuel suppliers..it was done to save us mortals money, by not being tied to a contract..but dont think it applies to brits abroad..btw, i did change tv/phone/broadband suppliers without a hassle.

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ChrisF
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby ChrisF » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:22 am

Coincidently there was something about ending phone contracts on BBC Breakfast TV this morning.
A contract is a contract - a legally binding document that ties you into paying for services for however long you agree to.
The company has every right to charge you if you want to be released from the contract early
Make sure you read the small print before you sign so you know what you are committing to.

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MIK_bg
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby MIK_bg » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:06 pm

Funny enough it was in the news as a large telecom company ended unilaterally her contract with a mobile phones retail chain without any notice causing the chain to close all the shops.

These are the same companies who will do anything to make it as harder as possible to end the contract you have with them.
Fortunately I usually avoid any contract if not strictly necessary and no other solution is available. But after what I learnt in the past months I will simply go without.

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Liliputian
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby Liliputian » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:57 am

Thanks all for the replies, and really sorry it took me so long to get back on here. With my wife's contract she didn't want to end it early, just to stop at the end of the 12 months, but they need her to give a month's notice (again not unlike the UK) - the difference is that they require this in writing and to sign IN PERSON in the store, so no email or even postal letter will do it, and to get someone else to do it on her behalf necessitated getting a legal document stamped by a notary. In the end, we booked a flight for her to go and do it herself - though she did also have some other business (a similar bit of bonkers banking bureaucracy) to take care of too, not just for that! Thanks again for the replies, lessons learned for the future...

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MIK_bg
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby MIK_bg » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:43 pm

A little reminder. If you have a property/own taxes/active services in BG you *must have* an bulgarian number active and known.

If you don't you won't be informed if anyone is proceedings against you...like scammers (including companies) starting baliif procedures KNOWING YOU ARE NOT RESIDENT AND WONT BE NOTIFIED...it's now the most trending scam around. People gets their property sized and sold. Even if the debt is completely fictional/forged.

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johndoe3
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Re: Problems ending a mobile contract

Postby johndoe3 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:00 pm

“caveat emptor” should be in every English to Bulgarian translation book.
In English language it has the translation of “Buyer Beware”.
I was watching TV last year, The Money Programme,as I recall.
A desk was set up in a large shopping precinct in Manchester. On offer was lifelong price for mobile phone usage with no data limits for £3 per month.
People of all age groups signed the line on the bottom of the 10 page document,
where they had accepted all the “Conditions of the Contract”.
In a nutshell, they had allowed this pretend company to vary their prices,enter their bank accounts to take what was ever “needed”.
The young and the old saw a “good deal”.


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