Did you know you could get out of your mobile phone contract early without penalty if the service provider raises the price of the plan?
Millions of people and countless businesses across the UK often worry they could be trapped in costly and inflexible contracts.
But help is at hand from the experts at Telephone Systems.Cloud to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of mobile phone contracts – whether you are an individual or a company – and how to confidently stand up for your consumer rights and avoid pricey cancellation fees.
The phone experts at Telephone Systems.Cloud are urging Brits to remain cautious when signing phone contracts and are being offered advice on what to do if they wish to cancel.
A person talking on the phone
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Alastair Bates, Managing Director of Telephone Systems.Cloud said: “It’s important to remain vigilant when signing any sort of contract, especially mobile phone contracts as there can often be more than meets the eye.
“Knowing your rights and reading the contract thoroughly before signing is key when looking to cancel a phone contract early as it can prevent you from paying a hefty fee.
“Unfortunately there aren’t many ways to exit a phone contract early, but entering a contract online can give customers an extra layer of protection with the guarantee of a cool-off period.
“Early termination fees differ depending on the company, but as a general rule of thumb it will usually be the remaining cost of the contract- the cost per month times the number of months left on the contract.”
Understanding some of the intricacies of a phone contract is vital in order to avoid paying hefty cancellation fees.
Here is some useful advice from Telephone Systems.Cloud:
Point of sale: When signing up for a contract in person there is no legal cancellation right and return policies are at the shop’s discretion, some retailers will let customers cancel as a goodwill gesture.
However, when signing up to a contract online or over the phone, the consumers’ cancellation rights differ slightly.
The first 14 days of a new phone contract are known as the cooling-off period and this gives users the right to cancel for free and without incurring a penalty.
This is usually a straightforward process and will require a phone call to the service provider with the contract details to hand.
Not only can users cancel within the first 14 days, but a contract can also be terminated early if the service provider raises the price of the plan.
Price hike? The service provider must provide customers with a notice period of 30 days before putting the price of the contract up.
In this case, make sure to contact the company within the 30-day period in order to cancel the contract.
If the contract states the price may be subject to change due to inflation or was given at an initial discounted rate for the first few months, consumers will not be able to cancel without paying a fee.
Canceling a phone contract at any other time will most likely mean having to pay a cancellation fee or an early termination fee.
This can differ from company to company but will usually be the overall amount left to pay on the contract, sometimes along with a separate cancellation fee.
Keeping your number: There are also a few things to account for once a contract has been cancelled, for example keeping the current phone number.
Customers have the right to keep their number when switching network providers, this will involve obtaining the PAC code from the network provider.
The PAC code is a unique nine digit number that allows mobile phone users to transfer their number between networks, these codes are free and are valid for 30 days.
Phone locked?: When choosing to keep a handset after the contract has been cancelled it is important to make sure it is unlocked before switching to another provider.
Phones purchased from a specific provider as part of a contract will be locked, meaning that the handset will only work with SIM cards from that provider.
The new service provider will often offer an unlocking service for a small fee, however, if they don’t offer this service there are a number of high street shops that can do this.
Always contact the company if there is any uncertainty surrounding the terms and conditions of a contract.
Cloud technology: Advances in this area mean that if you are a business you don’t need to have a contract and are free to leave at any time if you opt for cloud technology for your office phone systems.
Cloud technology has changed the way a phone has been sold, meaning businesses simply pay for the services used each month, adding and removing when they are not needed. With no contract, as a business, you will always pay the price displayed on the company’s website.
Hidden fees: Mobile phone companies might offer a free phone or highly discounted broadband to business customers – indicating they may seek to recuperate these costs later. Also, watch out for hidden fees in the terms and conditions, and difficult to leave rolling contracts or contracts where you can only leave at a set date.