1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. SallyBus

    SallyBus Registered User

    May 13, 2015
    1
    My father-in-law has recently had his phone line cut off due to not paying his bill which was set up as a direct debit. On looking into this problem we find that in fact he is paying two telephone companies for his phone rental. He is locked into two contracts one for 12 months and the other for 24 months. I have two questions. 1 how do we cancel one of the contracts and 2 how do we stop him signing up for services etc over the telephone.
     
  2. leicester61

    leicester61 Registered User

    Aug 26, 2012
    147
    Leicestershire
    Hi Sally, dont know if this might help, i had a similar situation and i spoke to the company concerned explaining my husbands condition, the person i spoke to wouldnt/couldnt help so i insisted on a manager calling me back, which they did the next day and agreed it was exceptional curcumstances and on this occasion would cancel the contract with no cost to ourselves, might be worth a try, good luck xx
     
  3. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    Has he managed to cancel the DD? Wouldn't that be paying the bill?

    I'd say talk to the companies involved- they will refuse to talk to you, of course, but will be happy for you to pay his outstanding bill.

    its going to be difficult to wriggle out of either contract, Do you have POA?
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,310
    Male
    North Manchester
    As has been said contact the provider, explain the problem , and ask for release from the contract. If you have LPA things should be easier.

    To prevent it happening again you could monitor his account online and if you see a new direct debit cancel it under the 7 day distance selling regulation. It would mean daily monitoring though as the time scales are short.
     
  5. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,049
    Durham
    If he needs his debit card to sign up for things on the phone, take note of the number on the back then erase the card security code, he will then not be able to use it over the phone,
     
  6. Cs250

    Cs250 Registered User

    May 17, 2015
    1
    Response to SallyBus 1099831

    Hi Sally I had this problem with my mum. Technically any company that cold sells products over the phone to someone formally diagnosed with cognitive impairment are exploiting vulnerable people so you can take several tracks :
    1. As all calls are recorded you can call the companies, inform them they have sold a contract to a vulnerable person who cannot make decisions for themselves, explain situation and ask them to start a formal investigation revising phone records. I did this for my mum who had been sold a new electricity contract .
    2. If you don't have POA in place then contact a solicitor and get this in place as soon as you can. Then you can call all companies he contracts with and have your name as contact for all products. You cal also have a note put on account that they are not to sell any new products without going through you.
    3. You can have cold callers identified as nuisance calls and have them blocked.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. DarrenT

    DarrenT Registered User

    Jun 13, 2013
    3
    BT has a range of services to for less able people and their carers. You can find further information if you navigate to bt.com/includingyou/other-products-services.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,665
    Salford
    I'd tell them to get it sorted or you'll be on the phone to Watchdog and they can explain their companies position to Anne Robinson on prime time TV, see how that goes down. Try if you can to do it by e-mail people seem to be willing to say things on the phone that they won't put in writing.
    K
     
  9. Jiggsy

    Jiggsy Registered User

    Apr 6, 2015
    6
    I agree. Be nice, but firm! Remember, these companies don't like bad publicity, your dad's contract is just a drop in the ocean as far as they are concerned, and - guess what? - the people in these companies aren't (all) heartless robots. You just need to speak to someone who has the authority to make the decision to cancel the contract. This is not likely to be the person in the call centre who happens to answer your call.
     
  10. dood

    dood Registered User

    Tricky area?

    It seems that the transition into dementia is a tricky area with (at least 4?) main parties to consider such as the person going into dementia, the person's financial arrangements and those organisations, persons relatives and friends, professional health services. And of course all of this needs to be completed in compliance with the person's wishes.

    It might be helpful to contact utility companies to tell them indications of dementia are appearing and what advice can they give you?
     
  11. phillmk

    phillmk Registered User

    Jul 8, 2013
    2
    i had same thing with my mum, they can cancel the contract under critical illness policy, they are insured, my mum was on o2 and all they wanted was prof that my mum had alzhimers.
     
  12. phillmk

    phillmk Registered User

    Jul 8, 2013
    2
    and hope this helps with second question, you can buy a box that goes onto phone box, it stops company's cold calling.
    it cost about sixty pounds but is worth every penny.
    or if no power of attorney is set up, go into bank with them and ask bank to put a marker on account.
    if you have a dated signed form showing diagnosed dementia, then anything signed after date can be used to cancel any further policy's,or contracts. but i would say get a power of attorney set up now, so you can control there affairs
     
  13. its a struggle

    its a struggle Registered User

    POA & Solicitors

    Please remember that you do not have to have a solicitor to put POA in place. OPG (office of the Public Guardian) are very helpful and will talk you through any queries you have with the forms.

    Also check out the relief on registration cost if elderly or low income. That info comes with the pack.
     
  14. ntw10

    ntw10 Registered User

    Jun 5, 2015
    1
    Phones

    You may wish to contract the telephone companies and suggest that your father in law was not competent to contract with them.
    Or phone or email The Citizens Advice Consumer Service who will give you first step advice and pass your issue to your local trading standards service.
    Call blockers are a great idea, the two main companies are True Call and CPR, BT also offer a version. There are different levels of service, the level you may wish to consider is the one designed for the most vulnerable and there are details on their websites.
    Scottish Trading Standards Services did an excellent piece of work a couple of years ago showing that unwanted, nuisance and scams calls were drastically reduced following the introduction of these blockers.
     

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