Last month (May 2021), checking my credit score via ClearScore / Equifax, I noticed that my score had suddenly dropped by 60 points. The only listed change was that an "Unsecured loan account" had been closed by O2.
I haven't closed any accounts with O2. I have only ever held one UK phone number, which has been with O2 since 2015. I strongly suspect this mystery account closure is related to an error made at O2's end when I first signed up in 2015 and started receiving letters claiming I was overdue on device payments for a device I had paid for in full up front. I called customer service multiple times back then to get this error sorted out, which I eventually believed it had been, but I think that error has come back to haunt me.
After noticing this credit score drop, I spoke to an agent via the MyO2 app, who directed me to call the payments team, who directed me to email firstname.lastname@example.org, which I did on May 22nd. The representative from the payments team advised that I could expect to receive a response from Credit File Referrals within 3 working days - a timeframe confirmed by the auto-response. It's now been more than 16 working days, and I've heard nothing back. I emailed them again on June 9th, requesting an update on the situation, and had no response to that either.
This situation is quite upsetting, as my credit score is being significantly impacted through no fault of my own, and I've been unable to get any meaningful response from customer support. I've been a customer with O2 for over six years now and never once been late for any payment.
Searching through the forums, I can see posts from other customers who have been in similar situations getting no response from Credit File Referrals.
Is there anyone I can contact via these forums to escalate this issue?
You need to place a notice of dispute on your credit file which will force the credit reference agencies to verify the marker with the lender responsible for it, O2 in your case.
Thank you both for the very fast responses!
I've just now tried emailing email@example.com too, though I didn't get any autoresponse from that address.
ClearScore asks that you contact the lender directly as a first step - but if I've still heard nothing back by next week (another 3 working days after emailing that additional address) then yes, I guess it makes sense to just raise it as a dispute. 😞
Have you been on a refresh plan at all over the past few years, either via a Upgrade or anything.
The credit file entry will have a start date on it.
Just so you know that the credit score is a fictious number made up by the likes of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Lenders will look at your Credit File and not your credit score.
Have a look here for more information https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2021/06/martin-lewis-credit-score-myths/
Just to add, i have just checked on my clearscore and there are loads of random entries from 2020, so looks like either a bulk update from a random dates has happened as i have entries that are added and removed. It looks a complete mess...
Thanks for the info about credit scores vs. files - that makes a lot of sense. Also interesting to hear this might be an error at Equifax's end. Putting the score aside for a moment, I am still concerned about the change listed on my report about this mystery account being closed - I guess that's what's on "file", and Equifax interprets it as a bad thing. I'll take the advice given and raise this as a dispute if I still have no response from O2 by the end of today.
I don't think I've ever been on a Refresh plan - though I'm not totally sure what that is, so I might be wrong - but I've had 3 tariffs with O2, all "SIM Only". I signed up with one in 2015 and then upgraded the tariff a couple of times via the MyO2 app when there were better value deals available. I've never bought an actual phone via a payment plan, only airtime.
An update on this for anyone in a similar situation - I did raise a dispute with Equifax, but I don't think I really got anything helpful out of the process.
After a lengthy back and forth of Equifax repeatedly saying "we can't find this account associated with you", and me replying with "I know, my report says it's been closed by O2, and that's apparently what has caused the credit score drop", they finally said:
"If you received a notification that an account was removed from your credit report, its either you've changed an address for that account or it refers to an old account you've settled six years ago. Please note that credit agreement information remains on your credit report for six years from the date that the account was settled or defaulted, whichever happens first."
Equifax also raised and then removed(?!) a notice of dispute on my account during this conversation, so I guess nothing is going to come of this. They suggested "we recommend that you wait for the next month update of your Clearscore Credit Report to check further" - that's just come in today and my score is still down, no change from last month. So - I'm guessing this is just some knock-on from O2's error 6 years ago and I just have to accept it. Maybe my score was actually being artificially inflated all this time by the mystery account.
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