How to get your money back from a mobile phone provider who has overcharged you

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How to get your money back from a mobile phone provider who has overcharged you requires a little thinking outside the box.
If your mobile contract has ended and you discover that you are still paying for the handset months or years later, there is something you can do about it.
My contract with a mobile phone provider ended in December 2017.  When I realised, I callled them in April 2018 (four months later).
I got through to a call centre and immediately asked who I was speaking to and what call centre I was talking with.  I made a note of the name of the person I was speaking to and the time.  I asked why I was still paying £39.99 per month for an iphone that I had clearly already paid off.  I requested a refund of £160 and was then put through to a manager.
Again, I noted the managers name and the time.  The manager confirmed the contract ended on 15th December 2017 and he advised categorically that they were not obligated to issue a refund even though I had clearly overpaid for the service as the phone had already been paid off.
So I asked him whether the company was legally obliged to advise us in writing that the contract had ended.  He said he did not know the legal stance on this.
I ended the call and decided to submit a complaint to the CEO by email setting out my concerns.  To ensure the CEO knew I meant business, I attached a Subject Access Request.
For more information about what a Subject Access Request is, click here.
I requested the following information in writing:
  1. “Can you please confirm what type of contract or agreement I hold with your company and send me a copy of the contract.
  2. Please provide a breakdown of exactly how much I paid for the mobile handset and how much line rental was paid throughout the contract.
  3. Can you please provide a breakdown of the costs I have incurred since the contract ended in December 2018.
  4. Can you please provide an audio copy of the telephone conversation that took place at [enter time and date call took place with call centre] with [name of person you spoke to] at [call centre name].
  5. Can you please confirm whether any information or data exists on your systems in my name? If it does, can you please send me that information.
  6. Can you please confirm the legal stance on whether [enter mobile providers name] is legally obliged to advise me in writing at the end of the contract period to get in touch to change the plan or I will be overcharged.
  7. Can you please advise what that correspondence should have said and in what format it should have been sent.
  8. My mobile handset contract had ended on [date] and I therefore paid for it. Can you please confirm the legal stance on whether [Mobile phone provider] can refuse to issue a refund for a contract that had clearly been settled [ ] months/years previously.

Please ensure none of the documents I have requested are redacted in anyway.

If you need any more information from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible.

It may be helpful for you to know that a request for information under the Data Protection Act 1998 should be responded to within 40 days.

If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer. If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you and can be contacted on 0303 123 1113 or at ico.org.uk.”

A week or two later I received a cheque in the post from the mobile provider for the overpaid amount.
Please let us know if this works for you.