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Don't Get Trapped by Your Mobile Phone Contracts

ConsumerWatch / Telecoms Apr 21, 2007 - 11:21 AM GMT

By: Submissions

ConsumerWatch Flip phones, inbuilt cameras, prepaid or contract … with so many different deals on offer its easy to become confused by all the options when you're in the market for a new mobile phone.


In 2006, Consumer Direct East Midlands received over 3,600 complaints about mobile phones (about 5% of total cases logged last year), making it the third most complained about subject in the region.  Over 2,000 of these cases were complaints about service agreements, including cash back offers, whilst nearly 1,500 were about problems with the handsets themselves.

To help people avoid some of these problems, Consumer Direct East Midlands is advising people to take their time before signing up to a new deal.

“There are so many different phones and deals on offer now that it's easy to make the wrong choice under pressure,” Sara Barry said.

“You can't opt out of a contract if you simply change your mind, so make sure you know and understand what you're getting yourself into.

“Things to look out for include how long you're under contract for, hidden call costs and the terms and conditions of your contract and any special offers.”

“Don't forget that once you've chosen your deal and signed up to a contract, you still have consumer rights,” Sara Barry added.

“If you do have problems and need advice about your rights, Consumer Direct is on hand to help.”

Consumer Direct East Midlands advises anybody in the market for a new mobile phone to compare prices and packages and beware of deals that sound too good to be true or have terms and conditions that are difficult to fulfil.

Important points to consider when buying a new mobile phone :

  • Shop around.  Decide how much you can afford and what kind of package and features you want. Remember to consider the cost of any additional payments such as insurance.
  • Check the range of coverage that the Network Service Provider has in your area.
  • Make sure you know what is included in your price plan.
  • Read terms and conditions carefully before signing a contract as once it has been signed, it's legally binding and you're committed to using the network for the outlined period, at a certain tariff.
  • Do not feel under pressure to sign the contract there and then. Avoid being talked into making an instant decision by a sales pitch.
  • Make sure you know the minimum period before you can cancel any contract and be sure to check the period of notice you'll have to give.
  • You cannot opt out of a contract if you simply change your mind later on.
  • However, you do have seven working days to cancel a contract for goods ordered by telephone or over the internet.

But if you do have a problem with your mobile, Consumer Direct East Midlands has this advice:

  • If the problem is with the network, SIM card or your bill you should contact your Network Service Provider.
  • If the problem is with the handset you should contact the shop you bought the phone from straight away to report the problem.
  • If you've only had the phone for a short time when the fault occurs then you may be entitled to a refund or replacement.
  • If the fault is only minor it is reasonable to accept a repair. General wear and tear or problems caused by misuse will not count as a fault.
  • If you've had the phone for longer than a few weeks then you may still entitled to a repair or replacement.
  • Any repair should be carried out within a reasonable period of time and without inconveniencing you too much.

For clear, practical advice call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or go online to www.consumerdirect.gov.uk


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Comments

gaurav sharma
07 Jun 08, 01:57
Mobile Phone Contracts Deals

Mobile phone contracts are useful for mankind because they make our handset affordable so that we become able to by a best handsets.But some exception are there in every field so we have not to worry about that.


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