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Vodafone Cancellation...

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Hi folks,


This is probably a slightly different issue to others that you may have encountered so please bear with me.


I purchased a Sony Ericcson Xperia X1 handset on Vodafone 18month contract in February this year from dial-a-phone.


On receiving the phone, I noticed that my signal was absolutely terrible at home, which is surprising since I am in the middle of a house estate. Checking the coverage map it showed it to be a pale yellow sector which meant I could only use the phone intermittently OUTSIDE, which was entirely true. I had to stand at the bottom of my garden to receive a call only for it to drop mid-conversation.


( Mobile Phone Coverage UK - Vodafone - Open with Internet Explorer, Postcode: TS7 0BX)


Naturally, I went to my local Vodafone store (Middlesbrough) to tell them about this. I was told that the signal strength was due to improve in the local area so to hang fire and bear with it.


A month later, it had still not improved. I visited the Stockton store who told me that work was scheduled within 3 month's time. If I still wasn't happy, they said I was free to escalate matters and cancelling the contract.


The signal still has not improved to this day.


I contacted Vodafone Tech Support and was given very basic instructions regarding SIM card cleaning, turning phone off, Manual Network Roaming, trying it in another phone. All failed miserably to resolve the issue.


At this point I checked my family/friend's mobile networks and discovered that they had a fantastic signal - O2, Orange and Three; all maximum strength.


Vodafone followed up to my email response saying that I was allowed to cancel (very generous I know) for the princely sum of some £450.


I have been unable to receive a signal on a very expensive contract where other phone networks provide a flawless signal. This has cost me reputation, work and therefore money as my vocation requires my mobile (IT Engineer) for being on call etc. I must use another phone from another network when at home.


Do I have any standing on them failing to provide a service within my area?


I stated in a recent letter to them that I will honour the money I have paid to date as I have been able to use the phone when away from my home area (it works fine 2miles away), but I refuse to pay any line rental charges through the cancellation of my contract. I will also freely return the handset and sim card to vodafone too.


Thanks for any advice or guidance you may provide,

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Do I have any standing on them failing to provide a service within my area?


No, you don't. They are providing their part of the agreement, allowing you access to their network within the range of their base-stations. The signal strength of other networks at this location is irrelevant. You have agreed to a minimum 18 month term with them, it would have been prudent to have ensured they provided coverage in your main areas of intended use before you committed.


In regards to returning the phone to Vodafone, they will have no interest in it. They did not provide it to you, you received the goods from a 3rd parter trader, Dial-A-Phone. All Vodafone will consider is that they've paid a significant commission to Dial-A-Phone for signing you up and so they will not let you walk away from your contract at their loss.


There was one chance of getting out of the contract and that was under Distance Selling Regulations. You had up to 7 working days from commencement of the service/reciept of the goods to decide whether to stick with it or reject it (send it back to Dial-A-Phone). But it seems that this has long since passed.


Sorry i cannot give you much of a positive reply to this, but there's not much you can do apart from see out the contract, mabe dropping the talkplan to the lowest one you can at the earliest opportunity to minimise cost. Alternatively, if you know of anyone who wants to take over the remainder of the contract (and perhaps lives in an area of Vodafone covereage) then Vodafone might agree to allow them to assume the remainder of the minimum term.

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