I got the final ruling from the court in the post today, co-inciding with a concise Consumer Magazine article about my case.
As I didn't appear on time to the court case, Vodafone did not need to explain their communications. The Judge ignored the merits of the case as they stood at the end of the previous half of the hearing, and dismissed the claim. I guess that's how the game works.
Below is the message I am sending to Vodafone to negotiate payment:
[Name], as you know I failed to make it to the court case, my mistake.
I'm assuming that you are going to exploit this inability of myself to play the game to Vodafone's advantage and to my detriment.
It is still my position that the text message sent to me saying I'd used 50%, 100% of my data pack constituted a False Representation under section 13 of the Fair Trading Act 1986. As you know the referee mentioned that I could take up a separate claim under that Act.
The roaming usage I did after foolishly thinking Vodafone were offering a service at a fair and reasonable price, as Referee Smallbone was so surprised that I would think would be likely, and as Vodafone did communicate to me via several channels, constitutes approximately $850 of the bill.
The referee's summary notes are scant, but as you recall, the other part of the bill which the referee found was all due to me foolishly trusting the validity your on-line usage tools, that an invoice would cover the dates marked on the bill, and for not reading the entirety of the small print on the terms and conditions and therefore underestimating my real usage.
Of course I disagree with the judgement, and if Vodafone decides to be honest on the record about the dire problems they have with communicating their mobile rates, and:
- add warnings to the mobile data roaming query tool that information is out of date, and
- add a break-down by date and billing network as you would expect on a credit card bill to the "details" section of the roaming charges of invoices, and
- write off my bill,
Then I will ensure that Consumer Magazine are made aware of how Vodafone have changed from dishonest to honest business practice, and encourage them to include a positive follow-up article in a subsequent issue.
Therefore I would like to make a payment arrangement over an 18 month term for the entire amount which Vodafone is claiming I still have to pay despite much of it being unlawful. Please let me know how I can make such payments and I will begin them.
Respectfully, Sam Vilain.