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Thread: Cancelling mobile phone contract

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Dairy Flat, Auckland

    Default Cancelling mobile phone contract

    I wonder if anyone can give some advice or has had experiences with problems in cancelling a UK phone contract. I will not give the company name in case of any legal problems.
    My Daughter has now arrived on NZ soil and is a student here for the next 4 years.
    She took a mobile phone contract in Jan 07 knowing that she would be coming here a year later so the contract would expire.
    The problem is, her phone broke down on the 2nd Dec and this is now the 4th time this has happened. She rang up to report it and they told her that it would have to be replaced as it was costing too much to keep repairing it.
    They sent her a new phone. At the beginning of Jan08 she rang up to cancel her contract to be told that she could not cancel it as when she got the new phone she was liable for another 12 month contract.She explained to them that she was emmigrating and that she was given a replacement as her phone was still under guarantee but they would not back down and insist she owes for another 12 months.
    Surely legaly, if a phone is faulty within the 12 month guarantee period then it must be repaired or replaced without any extra clauses like extending the contract for 12 months.
    They are now saying that when she received the phone she was sent covering documentation and in that it said she was liable for another 12 months contract.
    We have cancelled her direct debit but the problem is now she will probably be black listed so she will have problems getting any credit etc.
    They have now said if she pays for the phone they will cancel her account.
    Surely this is not right.
    Any help will be appreciated

    Caroline and Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    I'm guessing Vodafone. I had a mobile on a business contract in the UK from 1999. Just before coming out to NZ in July last year, I rang the contact centre to see if I would have to cancel my existing contract, or if my contract could be transferred over to NZ. 'Shouldn't be a problem to just transfer it', was the answer. Well guess what? it was. Vodafone is not, repeat not, a seemless global comms company. Vodafone UK is entirely separate from Vodafone NZ.

    Spent countless minutes waiting in call centre queues at 10pm onwards ringing the UK in order to resolve the issue. For a communications company, Vodafone do a good job in mis- and non-communication. I sent email after email, and eventually recieved a reply stating that I would have to continue paying the contract until it expired.....exactly the situation I wanted to avoid.

    Eventually, after lots of messy stuff, we've reached a compromise and I'm no longer shelling out for a phone I won't use for the next 2 years. over after I could 'prove' that I'd contacted them to request termination of said contract.

    Best of it is, I then get a standard letter from Tim Yates (Consumer Business Unit Director) telling me that he's sorry to see me go......

    me too, Tim, me too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Coromandel peninsula - ex UK


    I have been caught out with this in the past by T-mobile. They called and said I was eligible for a free upgrade and did I want it, and made no mention of the fact that by accepting the phone I was effectively signing up for another 12 months with them - I only found this out when I called them about something else. It's so easy to be caught out like this.

    My advice is to contact OFCOM for advice. I recently had problems with BT, and found OFCOM so helpful. If you think the contract is unfair, then they will investigate on your behalf. Details are on their website here:

    Edited to say: they really were so, so helpful, and were even more helpful when I told them I was in New Zealand and it was the middle of the night!
    Last edited by Jo Jo; 17th January 2008 at 06:21 PM.

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