Vodafone makes mother of disabled 21-year old pay $3000 USD for new phones it sent him
Even though she has been paying the bills for the account, Vodafone at first would not speak to Claire about what was going on because the account was in Nick's name. Originally, she was paying the equivalent of $68 USD a month for his account, but the bill jumped to $171 USD in April, and over $900 USD last month. Eventually, she was able to talk to the carrier about her Son's account, and that is how she found out that Vodafone had been sending him smartphone after smartphone. Because she paid the mobile operator by direct debit, by the time she figured out what was going on and was able to cancel the arrangement, she did not have enough money left to pay her mortgage this month.
The carrier was unaware of Nick's issues, and continued to send him new phones without determining whether or not he had the wherewithal to pay for them. Vodafone responded to media inquiries by saying that it "had done everything correctly." When the account was set up, Nick passed a credit check conducted by Vodafone even though he was receiving government benefits. While the account was set up under his name, it was Claire's credit card number that was given for the payments.
Vodafone says that if Mrs. Hardwick can provide documentation proving that her son's learning disability affects his ability to make decisions, the carrier will review the charges. For now, it says, Mrs. Hardwick is liable for the charges.
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