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'My ex-husband was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but EE continued to charge him for his mobile phone'

Jessica Gorst-Williams
The reader's ex-husband continued to pay for his EE phone contract, despite being sectioned - PA

I am writing on behalf of my 75-year-old ex-husband who is sectioned under the Mental Health Act.  

He is unable to control his own affairs and, as both children are out of the country, I act on his behalf. Months ago he was rushed into hospital. At this point both his phone and iPad went missing.  

As the phone was quite old and he had difficulty using it, we did not worry unduly about its disappearance. 

However, when my son started trying to sort out his dad’s affairs we found he was on a contract to EE, and the phone was not a pay-as-you-go as we had assumed.

I rang EE to explain the situation and attempted to cancel the contract, having already inadvertently paid for four months on the missing phone. 

EE was not very helpful but it did acknowledge that the phone had not been used for four months. I was asked to submit my cancellation request in writing and did this, but it was to no avail.

LW, Wales

EE described this as a unique situation. It said that you had not been set up as a third-party and did not pass security.  To enable you to access the account it also needed proof of extenuating circumstances.

At first EE asked for a letter from a doctor saying that your ex-husband was a patient under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. The reply, I understand, did not contain all the medical documentation EE required. 

Then it asked for the consultant, who was on holiday, to confirm the situation. Eventually this was acquired and forwarded to EE.

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Meanwhile, the account had remained active and further monthly bills had been issued. During this time EE attempted to make contact with your ex-husband about the overdue balance.  

As payment was not received the account was passed to debt collectors. When the medical evidence came 10 days later, EE took action and closed the account.

Further to my involvement EE put the £153, which had been paid from the time the phone had stopped being used, back into the bank account it had come out of. 

The debt it was pursuing your ex-husband for has been wiped out. EE said it sympathises with your situation and apologised for any additional stress this matter has caused the family.