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Widow's family calls on Vodafone to waive £800 call charge

A phone company has bowed to pressure and waived an £800 bill for calls made by a grieving widow to her dying husband.

Carole Beaney's husband, George, died on Monday, April 6, after contracting coronavirus during a stay at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Carole Beaney with her bill from Vodafone. Picture: Lenny Beaney
Carole Beaney with her bill from Vodafone. Picture: Lenny Beaney

Mr Beaney, who helped to set up Bapchild Fruit Stall in Fox Hill, near Sittingbourne, was originally admitted for an ulcer on his foot.

He had his leg amputated before contracting the virus.

While he was in hospital she went over her allowed minutes on her mobile in calls to family and her husband, as she was not allowed to visit him.

A statement sent to her by the company confirmed she owed them £792.25 in additional charges for calls calculated at 1,440 minutes over her plan made between March 14 and April 13.

On Friday, following pressure from KentOnline, the company agreed to waive the additional charges and place Mrs Beaney on an unlimited tariff at £11 a month.

"She was also grieving at the time..."

Carole's son, Lenny Beaney, said: "My mum went over the minutes she was allowed on her contract.

"The bill was for £800 but bearing in mind my mum only has a £13.50 a month deal they must've thought it was unusual that these sums were being racked up.

"She was also grieving at the time. Vodafone has offered to knock £150 off but I want to have it waived.

"She only rang people in hospital to find out how my father was doing and then the family to tell them how he was.

"It's such a weight off her mind, she's been through the mill.

"She had a call this morning and they put her on a reduced tariff and refunded her payment for last month.

"I've been banging my head against the wall for months trying to sort this out for her and it's been a battle.

"I'm pleased it's been resolved."

He added the firm tried to take the money out of Mrs Beaney's account twice which her bank gave her a refund for.

A Vodafone UK spokesman said: "We’d like to say sorry to Mrs Beaney and her family.

"We have now spoken to the family and arranged to clear the outstanding balance."

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