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Carphone warehouse 14 Day cooling off period??? Seems to be none existant???


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Hi, I was hoping to get some advice


My girl friend currently has a mobile phone contract with O2. The 12 month term has just elapsed so we went out shopping in search of another phone. We found a deal in the Carphone Warehouse that was of interest so we went with it!!!


The deal was also on O2. They didn’t offer her an upgrade option. Upon arriving home my Girlfriend contacted O2 to cancel her current contract and they offered her a much better deal than the one that car phone warehouse have just provided.


I was under the impression that everything purchased or signed up for carries a 14 day cooling off period. We soon found out this was not the case. I called up the shop were we purchased the phone and asked if we could return the phone with it being under the 14 day cooling off period.


The chap told me that a 14day cooling off period did not apply to this contract with O2. I was confused I called O2 and they confirm that with all of there contracts they offer a 14day cooling off period.


We called up the Carphone Warehouse head office and were told us that we could not cancel it.


I'm confused! :?


My question is this


Can the car phone warehouse get away with this???


Can I complain??? Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. My girlfriend is pretty upset about the whole thing. It’s costing her £15 per month extra and she still with the same provider she was before.


Thanks in advance


Kind regards





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I'd assume you still have the contract you've just signed in CPW? Have you read the T&C of it yet? Think your answer will be in there.


I think the cooling-off period your referring to is the distance selling regulations which wouldnt apply in this case. A retailer is under no obligation to refund/cancel something if you change your mind afterwards

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The problem and confusion you have is that CPWO2 and O2 are two separate networks. You were originally with O2 direct however you have just bought a phone from CPW on the O2 network. CPW operate their own service provider for O2. They buy the airtime from O2 and operate their own billing system.


O2 operate a 14 day return policy as used to be the norm in the industry. However things have changed and now CPW only operate a 14 day exchange and only on certain networks. You are free to swap the handset for another one and remain on the same network and in some cases you could also take a deal on a different network. However you may not return the phone and simply cancel the contract.


There is still one option open to you if you want to take the upgrade from O2 direct as it is a better deal. CPW's lifeline complete product offers the ability to cancel a 12 month contract after month 3 and an 18 month contract after month 6. It costs between £1.07 and £2.92 a week for the duration of your cover (3 or 6 months depending) but then you will be able to return the phone to CPW and cancel your agreement with them. However you will still have to pay both the insurance premium and the line rental for both phones until such a time as you can cancel it with the insurance. If you want to explore that option you can take the insurance out within 2 weeks of buying your phone.


Other than that your pretty stuck unless they will let you switch to a better deal on a different network.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello All at Consumer Action Group,

Hope you are all well. This is my first posting. I thought a 14 day cooling off period was a statutory 'human right' in English or EEC law which could not be overridden by any manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer irrespective of their individual terms and conditions. Am I right in thinking this? look forward to your views.

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It would be nice, but no. This is a service contract, completed (usually) in trade premises, not the home, so no cooling-off period applies. Assuming for the moment that it WAS enshrined in law, you'd find they would ask you to sign the contract, and your handset will be delivered after 14 days. There is no 'approval' period, however networks will usually allow a new contract to be terminated (not an upgrade) if coverage is not viable at the consumer's address.

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  • 2 years later...

i been to citzen advice they told me if you were sold your mobile and they did not in form you right and they didnt not explain it correct then under cwr you can ask them to cancel your contract but they dont always do it im still fighting my case

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As usual, Citizen's 'advice' only tell a selected part of the story. There is NO REQUIREMENT for them to personally inform you of any 'rights' neither to they have to expain anything - THAT is what the contract is for. The consumer is expected to take cognisance of the terms and conditions. Should you sign after ignoring these terms, then you;re on your own and will lose.

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Carphone warehouse stores are given instructions from the networks in regards to returns but at the same time rarely acknowledge they do. So if you are told by the store you cant return it its because the network has told the store they cant. But when you phone up the network directly they will without fail always say that they cant see why theres a problem with returning it and tell you to go to carphone warehouse to return it.


If you have broken the sim card out of its little credit card thing, then that is an acceptance of the contract and you will not be able to return it after that, unless it was faulty of course.


I think it was mentioned earlier but the 14 days return policy is only guaranteed when you purchase something through distance selling, for example over the phone or on the web.


Hope that clears everything up.

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Afraid that is nonsense. CW may like to THINK that inserting the SIM and turning of the phone IS an acceptance, but for coverage issues - where there is no coverage in the areas where the customer intends using the phone, the contract can be repudiated and returned. If CW refuse to take it back, then it can be returned to the network directly, and tho cost for shipping it recovered. The TIME allowed to discover this is not specified, but the outside timeframe is 14 days, and this has NOTHING to do with DSR, which would only apply to posal/ail order transactions. If what you describe is CW's 'policy', then it is clear that nobody should consider purchasing any contract handset from Carphone Warehouse due to their inability to provide the same returns service that the networks provide through their own retail chains.

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  • 1 month later...

Obviously its not always going to apply, if like you said the network coverage is rubbish then that would be something you wouldnt know unless you put the sim in. Also some networks, im thinking o2 and possibly vodafone have a 14 day return on contract phones regardless of if you have used it. You just have to pay for the usage that you have built up before returning it.

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