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Phones4U wont cancel contract within 7 days

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Hi there,

I have just tried to return a phone to Phones4U customer services that my daughter got on contract from a retail store on Mar 28th less than 7 working days ago, they are refusing to allow her to return it under any circumstances. I have seen mentioned a 14 day cooling off period, where is the legislation for this? They say this is wrong, there is no cooling off period for bought in shop contracts. She is returning due to poor reception. I am happy to start my own thread just want to look at the legislation.


CAG user: LOCTUS said

"Contact the network who will release your daughter from the contract due to lack of coverage"

My daughter just called O2 who said that O2 can't do that, and they have alot of problems with Phones4U telling people to contact the network provider. Phones4U said they would get the network provider to do a network test, but O2 said they don't do them!


What is the next step. Surely you must be able to cancel a contract if the phone/service is unsuitable.

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Firstly, you mention 7 days - this might be in reference to Distance Selling Regulations which give you 7 working days cooling off period, but only comes into effect if you agreed to the contract over the phone/internet. As it was agreed to in person in a shop this is no help to you.


As for the 14 days cooling off period, this is something that has been banded around on these forums a lot as a 'consumer right', but unfortunately that is incorrect. There is no 14 day cooling off period when entering into a mobile contract. Some networks/companies might offer you a cooling off period due to their own policy, but there is certainly no requirements for them to do so, and as you have found out, the majority do not offer this.


Sorry to be the bringer of bad news, but you have no grounds for returnal of the contract. Not checking to see if the contract/service suited you/your daughter's needs (i.e. not checking to see if signal is provided in a particular area) prior to signing up does not render the contract void.


Only if the phone is faulty within the beginning part of the contract (i.e. first 28 days approx) would you then have a leg to stand on to reject the goods as not fit for purpose (under the sales of goods act) which can help give you leverage to terminate the agreement (but only if a genuine fault develops).

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Hi Jack, That's what I thought having read Buzby comments in some of the other theads , I was just hoping that something would crop up. I advised my daughter not to get the phone, she is a bit headstrong and did it anyway. The folly of youth.

If anyone else has any info, I'd be very grateful. I appreciate its not looking good!

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Sorry for the delay - I've been trekking the Giant's Causeway...!


P4U a notorious for denying the customer's rights. DSR doesn't apply for shop purchases, but if there is no coverage and it is a contract phone, then you need to get it back boxes as new - and request they cancel the sale. If they refuse, note the name of the assistant, and ask to be referred to the store manager, or if they are one and the same, the regional or area manager covering the store.


If this does not resolve the issue, advise you want the postal address to return the handset (which you must do by Special Delivery) and keep the receipt. As a rough guide, you have 7-10 days to do this, and the networks usually explain in their T&C that this is the only period a claim of no coverage can be made.

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yesterday night I setup a contract with phones 4u and this mornign I wanted to cancel because the specs of the phone weren't the one that I needed.


They show me a clause on the contract telling that phones 4u doesn't operate the 14 days cool off period.


yesterday when I sign the contact they didn't mentioned anything about that and I thing it is a real an proper [problem].


Today I asked if they can at least change the phone with another model and they told me that they have to ask to the head of the department and probabily I will have to pay more. I answered they that the other model on internet was at the same price that the one that I bought and they told me that internet many times is wrong!!!!




I'd like really to sue them because this is not even close to a service but it is a real [problem] and it has to be regulated in some way.


What should I do?


Many thanks



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What you point out is true - but there is no reason you should expect any 'cooling off'. You are meant to decide on the best handset for you in the expectation that the service you will recieve (ie network coverage) will meet your needs. If it doesn;t, then irrespective of their contract of sale, it runs contrary to the Sale of Goods Act, and would be an unfair term.


However, you have a different problem. You don't like the handset - and this is not a service issue, but a preference one. Having now got it home, you don't like it. For some things, you can expect the retailer to take it back or exchange - but because the phone is sold with a service contract, this can cause many issues - not least with (I recall) P4U selling a new handset, and the purchaser phoned photos of an 'adult' nature had been taken by the previous user (and returned).


The time to evaluate the handset is PRIOR to purchase, and if this important step is misased out, you're stuffed. You wouldn't expect to return a car once driving out the showroom - an excuse of not being comfy driving it would be laughed at.


A contract on any sort is a commitment, always has - and always will be.


You cannot sue them because it was you who changed your mind. Only for there being no service where you need to use it, which is what the contract covers.

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Thank u for your reply.


However a car is a different item. Usually for items like phones the consumer should have 14 days to return the item. Is like that in many countries so I don't understand how it doesn't apply for phonex 4u.


How can they apply their own rules??


In my vision of law even if they want to apply their own not standandard rules they should explain all the condition to the consumer before he signs the contract. And more, they made me sign a contract without showing any clause and then they ticked by them self!!! I never ticked that clauses and when I signed they weren't ticked. But how can I demonstrate it...


It is impossible that they can continue to operate in this way, what can of system it is? Who knows how many people felled in their traps...A system like that is like 'far-west' where the customers are not armed....


If there is something that I can do I will do, so if someone has got an idea or a very good lawyer please tell me.


many thanks in advance



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Actually no - the Sale of Goods Act applies equally whether it is a car or a bag of boiled sweets.


You answered your own question; "Usually for items...." Thus is not law, but a commercial decision by the retailer. They can decide what their policy is and that's what you will experience. If you purchase something and later change your mind, the retailer has no obligation to you either to accept the return, refund the cost OR give you a credit note.


We are in the unusual situation that the ability to receive a refund is some imagined 'consumer right' which it is not. This is why it comes as a shock when a mistaken purchaser is met with a blunt refusal. I agonise before any high value purchase, I must be sure that what I want is really what I need, and it will do what I require. This is why pre-purchase research is vitally important.


If the retailer makes claims about the goods that do not match your experience or are inaccurate, you have redress. If you made an ill-informed decision to buy - usually referred to as 'mis-bought', then the goods are yours, If you don't want them, sell them on to someone else, but you cannot force the retailer to take those items back.


With mobile phone contracts, there as subtle differences - as the phone handset is supplied as an inducement to enter into the contract. The contract takes precedence, as it outlines your agreement for the supply of communication services... NOT the handset, which is rarely (if ever) mentioned. The contract is for the SIM card that unlocks the service you've agreed to subscribe to.


I have always thought it lunacy for consumers to agree to be locked in for up to two years. They don't know if their circumstances will change, or presumably care that the £35pm they've agreed to means they're going to commit to spending £840.00 MINIMUM... for a phone? No thanks!

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