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My son signed up over the phone with Communication Direct Limited for a new mobile phone contract on Friday of last week. If you have not heard of them they make a multitude of calls to mobiles where the current contract is expiring selling new deals. The contract offers a 14 day cooling off period where you can cancel.
After speaking to me he rang back at 5.30pm to cancel. He got a recorded message saying the office was only open from 9am - 6pm and to call back on Monday.
This morning the new phone arrived at 8.30am. My son rang and cancelled the contract and has been told he is liable for a £20 admin fee and must pay for return of the phone.
I can accept him having to pay the postage to return the phone, my question is are the company legally allowed to charge the £20 admin fee on a contract that allows a cooling off period.
The problem is that as the selling is done on the phone there is no small print.
I have now spoken with Consumer Direct - an excellent resource - and they have confirmed the legality so long as it is in the contract.
They have said it is the responsibility of the purchaser to ask if there is a non refundable admin fee. I have been to the Communication Direct website and they make it clear there is the fee.
I believe that it should be a legal requirement that if they sell over the phone that they clearly inform the purchaser of the fee not for the purchaser to have to ask.
My son has learnt a valuable lesson.
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Whilst I'm loath to support a company like this, to be fair they will have incurred costs for the sale - processing the sale, setting up an account, despatching the phone. So they shouldn't lose out because your son changed his mind...
I see what you are saying.
However bremner's son didn't approach them. From what I understand it was a 'cold call'.
I don't see that he should be expected to know all the rules and 'small print' in such circumstances.
To my mind they invited themselves to incur these costs and I would tell them to come and collect the phone.
They would not get a penny out of me!
He was cold called - but he agreed to the sale, even if it wasn't spelled out over the phone. He could have said - "let me think about this and I'll call you back".
A contract is always a two-way transaction - both parties have to agree...
I suppose the question is: did the cold caller explain that he had a right to cancel but that he would be charged their expenses.
There is no way he could have known about any t's & c's which are on their website at the time of the call!
I am receiving cold calls all the time, how am I supposed to know what questions it is my 'duty' to ask.
I think this would be different if he had called them!
The problem with cold calling, is the proof of the conversation, unless that conversation was recorded by both parties. Can be very difficult!.
This was a cold call.
My son was told there was 14 day cooling off / cancellation period but absolutely no mention was made of an administration fee or that terms and conditions were available from their website.
In law the company did nothing wrong and it has taught my teenage son a valuable lesson.
However I do believe that for cold call, on the phone sales the company should be legally obliged to quote the "administration fee".
Has he paid the money or are you taking it up with the company?
I would have thought they might relent in the 'interest of good customer relations' and to maintain their reputation.
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