Dad’s phone dispute after son’s death

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Terence Hitchin took out a phone contract with Orange to make life better for his son Mark.

Mark was suffering from terminal throat cancer and Terence got him a phone in October 2012 so he could communicate with others by text.

When he took out the 24-month contract, Orange said he could cancel the contract when his son passes away.

Sadly, Mark passed away four months ago and since then Terence has been trying to cancel the contract.

But the £20.50 a month has continued to be taken out of his bank account by direct debit.

Terence has visited two stores, but was told there was nothing they could done and to contact customer services.

But Terence is partially deaf and cannot hear on the phone. No-one else was able to speak to customer services on his behalf, because the contract was in his name.

He said: “I took the phone out in my name under the proviso that when he died it would finish.

“I have been on with this for four months. I don’t know what to do. I’ve got enough to deal with.

“The contract is meant to expire in October, but we live on a pension and £20.50 a month is a lot to us.”


After Action Desk contacted Orange, Terence received a letter bringing him good news, which he was delighted with.

With sincere condolences, the phone company agreed to cancel the contract and refund him for the last four months of payments.

An Orange spokesman said: “We have processes in place to ensure closing an account is as simple as possible following the death of a loved one.

“In this instance, the contract was taken out with a third party retailer and not directly with Orange.

“As soon as the circumstances were explained to us, we closed Mr Hitchen’s account and sent him a refund.”