Tesco Mobile which is an MVNO are having a hard time of it over on the hugely resourceful and popular boards.ie website right now due to a query from a user of the Tesco Mobile service when a user and category mod spurious was contacted by a friend with the following. Just for transparency purposes we spoke to the original poster last night about this and agreed to let us post this and agreed to keep the user that’s having the problem anonymous.


Was contacted by a very upset friend today who has recently been very ill and is still in the ‘attending hospital appointments’ phase.

Her doctor and some other friends informed her they were having difficulty contacting her on her Tesco Mobile PAYG. She got on to Tesco mobile who told her her account had been randomly selected ‘for security purposes’ and until she sent them a scan of her passport they would not reconnect her. She explained to a person named ‘Con’ (appropriately enough) in Customer Service in Waterford that she often gets short notice of an available slot for treatment and has to be ready to go. He refused to let her speak to someone higher up the line. She has had no notice of any of this in writing.

Subsequently spurious replied with legitimate questions in the opening post..

Can you tell me …
a) is this a scam or actually something Tesco Mobile do? Cut paying customers off for no reason?
b) can she be reconnected IMMEDIATELY pending the sending of the passport scan?
c) She owes Tesco no money whatsoever as she is PAYG, what justification is there for treating her like this?


Tesco then replied with the following and what seems to be a repetitive copy and paste format continued throughout the thread with no conclusion to date,this is going on 24hrs now..


Hi spurious,

I’m sorry to hear of the inconvenience caused by this. In order to maintain the security of all of our customers, we do regularly perform routine security checks. Once the customer in question has provided the proofs requested by our Security department, we can have the account unsuspended promptly, but we can only discuss exact information regarding this matter with the account holder.

As I have already advised, such procedures are carried out to maintain the security of all Tesco Mobile customers, both prepay and billpay. Suspension due to a general security check would not be a supervisor issue, and our Customer Security team are a back office team who do not speak directly with customers. Our Customer Care representatives are trained in dealing with and advising on such issues.

If the customer wishes to contact us directly to discuss her account further, we can be PMed on our Tesco Mobile: Reps page by clicking here – LINK!


Speaking to the actual account holder is perfectly fine and its a legal obligation for data protection purposes but apparently Tesco Mobile can just cut you off  and then you need to provide information such as a passport or some form of ID,In my many years as a mobile customer across many networks not once have I heard or have had this requirement brought to my attention nor have I ever been asked…

Tesco under their terms and conditions which are outline below on HOW they can disconnect your service……in bold would be most relevant to the original post..


1.3.4 How we can suspend or limit the Services
We may suspend or restrict your use of the Services immediately if:

  • You do any of the things listed above which would allow us to end our Agreement;
  • You breach our Agreement (for example, you fail to pay us any Charges when due);
  • You breach any legal requirements which may apply to your use of the Services;
  • You tell us that your Mobile Phone or SIM Card has been lost or stolen;
  • We need to carry out repairs, maintenance or improvements to the Services (and we will try to restore the Services as soon as we can);
  • We are told to by the Government, the emergency services or any other competent or lawful authority;
  • You are abusive, make threats, repeatedly cause a nuisance or annoyance or otherwise act illegally towards our staff or property, or that of our agents; or
  • You do anything or permit anyone else to do anything which we reasonably think adversely impacts Tesco Mobile; or
  • It appears to us that there is an unusual use of the Tesco Mobile Service (for example, the volume or destination of calls increases significantly).
  • Where more than one user is set up under an Account, we may suspend use by any or all of those users.

User 8-10 below also points out some valid replies to the above…

How can the destination of calls increase? Is this saying that there is a limit in number of phone numbers you can contact off it? Or number of countries you can call? And if you increase the number of numbers or number of countries you call over this threshold you can be suspended?

Volume of calls maybe, though I don’t see how that would affect the network with a single handset, and I don’t see how it affects PAYG as presumeably they can’t keep calling forever or their credit will be used up.

But an increase in call destinations sounds very vague – interested if Tesco Mobile reps can help the understanding of this – is it the number of different phones you can call on PAYG limited? And what does ‘increased significantly’ mean?

For instance I generally use my work phone for nearly everything but call some relatives from my personal one. So that is the single call destination that I have, so I maybe call 2/3 destinations (different numbers) in a month.

Then if next month I’m using my personal phone for work and I call 200 different numbers in a month off it – that’s a significant increase in call destination – would I be cut off because of this? What is the threshold for the destination increase?

That sums up this case pretty much for now,have you ever had anything happen like this,As mentioned I personally have never heard this happen before myself and the answers seem pretty vague and there is a lack of total transparency here..To be fair the reps here can only do so much but this is something that needs clearing up..

Read the full thread on Boards.ie  



By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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