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Reclaim Phone Credit Have you switched providers?

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If you've switched TV, mobile, broadband or phone providers in the last six years, there's a chance you're owed a little cash. You can get it back at speed.

Many providers, including TalkTalk, Primus and Three Mobile, don't automatically refund leftover credit, meaning millions of pounds in unclaimed cash is available. Successes are flowing in.

What's a telecoms credit refund?

Only a few telecom providers, including BT, Orange and the Post Office, say they automatically refund leftover credit when you leave. Though even then, things can get overlooked.

But some firms, including TalkTalk, Primus and Three, operate a DON'T ASK, DON'T GET policy. They won't give it back to you unless you ask for it.

Ofcom estimates millions in bill credit is unclaimed. It urged consumers to check if they were owed a refund. Sadly, this doesn't apply to pay-as-you-go phone credit though.

Why would I be owed cash?

You might not think you’re owed money, but it’s easy to earn credit without realising via promo deals or by paying in advance.

For example, if you signed up to a "12 months for the price of nine" offer, often you still pay for the full 12 months then get a rebate after 12 months. Many people assume that this rebate is automatic, but it's not always.

Finally, if you’ve complained about something, you might get credit added to your account.

Reclaiming success

The successes have flooded in since we launched this guide in 2010. Brilliantly, they were bigger than we expected, reaching into the £100s. Please add yours to the Credit Refund success forum thread.

Here are some of the best...

Did as instructed and to my amazement found I have a £144 refund due to me from TalkTalk. Well impressed. Thank you Martin. sheppie230

I have £23 on its way from Vodafone and a nice £73 from Orange. I checked with Virgin Media and I have £394 in service charges PLUS £150 for the rental of a TV box that I should not have been charged for. HAPPY DAYS!nsabournemouth

I had a mobile phone contract with O2 over two years ago. I just rang to check if I had any credit on my old account. I wasn't hopeful, but they are refunding £19 into my bank account! allie_81

How to reclaim

If you've left a telecoms provider in the last six years, check our provider-by-provider guide below to find out how to grab your cash.

Just call up and ask: "Do I have any leftover credit on my account?"

Even if our guide says "no action needed" for that provider, make a quick call if you suspect you're owed credit just in case you were overlooked. Several forumites have reported getting unused credit back after calling providers, even though they said it was automatic.

You can go back six years

You can go back six years in England and Wales, or five years in Scotland. These time periods are limited by law. The provider should also hold the data for six years.

Pay less to call

Many of the providers' numbers below are 0870 or 0845 numbers, costing up to 11p/min. Search on SayNoTo0870.com for alternative local rate numbers (see SayNoTo0870 for more info). Remember the site's numbers come from its users, so nobody verifies the numbers. Thus a few dud numbers are listed, and, worse, scammers could post fake ones, so be careful if revealing sensitive info.

Plus, most mobile networks charge costly rates for 0800 "freephone" numbers. Read the 0800 Buster guide to get a normal number to call, included in any free minutes. Once connected, dial ANY 0800 number to get through at no extra charge.

BT

BTAutomatic refunds

Is the refund automatic? Yes - it always has been. Though it's worth checking, as some forumites still found unused credit after calling.

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're in credit.

What do I need to do? No action required. The account's normally credited within five working days of the final bill being sent out.

Phone number? 0800 800 150

O2

O2Not always automatic

Is the refund automatic? Yes, for credit of more than £20 (since 2009).

How does it work? The final invoice will show if you're in credit. It includes the number to request a refund.

What do I need to do? Contact O2 for refunds of less than £20. No action required for credit of more than £20. You can apply online at O2.

Phone number? 0844 8090 202 (pay monthly customers) or 0844 875 2302 (iPhone customers only)

Orange

OrangeAutomatic refunds

Is the refund automatic? Yes (since 2004). Though it's worth checking, as some forumites still found unused credit after calling.

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're in credit.

What do I need to do? No action required. Refunds are automatically paid to you within six weeks.

Phone number? 07973 100 150 (for mobile customers) or 0844 8738 586 (for broadband/landline customers)

PostOffice

Post OfficeAutomatic refunds

Is the refund automatic? Yes - it always has been.

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're in credit.

What do I need to do? No action required. Credit's automatically refunded within 14 days of the final bill. Whatever payment method you used during your time with the Post Office, your refund will be by postal order.

Phone number? 0845 6003 210

Sky

SkyAutomatic refunds

Is the refund automatic? Yes, but only since November 2012).

How does it work? Your final bill will show whether you're in credit. Sky automatically refunds you by direct debit or credit/debit card, within 45 days after your cancellation.

What do I need to do? No action required. Confirmation of the refund will be sent by email or post (however you receive your bills).

Phone number? 0844 2414 141

T Mobile

T-MobileAutomatic refunds (if the credit is under £50)

Is the refund automatic? Yes.

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're in credit. If it's between £1 and £50 you will get an automatic refund via the same method you originally paid, after 32 days of inactivity. A refund of over £50 could take up to two weeks longer.

What do I need to do? No action required.

Phone number? 0845 412 5000

TalkTalk

TalkTalkNot automatic

Is the refund automatic? No.

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're credit, and includes number to call to request a refund.

What do I need to do? Call customer services to request a refund. TalkTalk offers refunds by cheque, card and bank transfer.

Phone number? 0870 444 1820

Three

Three MobileNot automatic

Is the refund automatic? No.

How does it work? The final bill will show if you're in credit.

What do I need to do? Call customer services to request a refund.

Phone number? 0843 3733 333

VirginMedia

Virgin MediaAutomatic refunds

Is the refund automatic? Yes, for amounts over £1 and always has been. Though it's worth checking, as some forumites still found unused credit after calling.

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're in credit.

What do I need to do? Contact Virgin Media for amounts under £1.

Phone number? 0845 454 1111

VirginMobile

Virgin MobileAutomatic refunds

Is the refund automatic? Yes, for amounts over £1 (since May 2013)

How does it work? The final bill shows if you're in credit.

What do I need to do? Contact Virgin Mobile for amounts under £1.

Phone number? 0845 454 1111

Primus

PrimusNot automatic

Is the refund automatic? No.

How does it work? It sends a final bill showing credit available contact numbers to request a refund.

What do I need to do? Call customer services to request a refund.

Phone number? 0800 036 3839

Plusnet

PlusnetNot always automatic

Is the refund automatic? No.

How does it work? The refund is only automatic if you change provider using a MAC (migration authorisation code). This is required to change internet providers rather than cancelling your service altogether. For more info, see Plusnet.

Credits over £100 aren't automatically refunded. Customers are informed of any balance via email and should check to see if there is an outstanding credit.

What do I need to do? Call customer services for a refund.

Phone number? 0800 432 0200

Vodafone

VodafoneNot automatic

Is the refund automatic? No

How does it work? Call customer services to ask for a refund.

What do I need to do? Call customer services.

Phone number? 0870 070 0191

Other providers

If your provider's not listed, simply call 'em up. Even if you don't have a clue about whether they refund automatically, just call and say: "I'd like to check if there's any leftover credit on my account please." Then report your success in our forum.

How much did you get back?Help us keep track!

Once you've contacted your provider, if you've managed to reclaim some lost credit please help us keep track of numbers by clicking one of the following counters.

Please vote How many votes? (Updated hourly)
Nothing 360
1p to £19.99 282
Over £20 148

After you've clicked, please share your experiences in the Credit refunds discussion.

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Telecoms Reclaiming
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