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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi - if I have canceled my mobile phone contract and canceled

Customer Question

Hi - if I have canceled my mobile phone contract and canceled the direct debit because I am claiming they have breached the contract by not supplying me with a replacement phone in a reasonable amount of time (44 days), how can I make sure they do not damage my credit (as they are threatening to do) by purusing me for the amount left on the contract (about £280, they claim). I was with this company -- Orange, now part of EE -- for more than 10 years and I'm quite sure I didn't sign anything at the last upgrade (summer 2013). Please tell me straight if the law is set up to make it impossible for an individual customer to get out from under these giants without going through a whole lot of pain. If I can't force them to leave me alone, how at least can I keep them at arms length for the longest possible time without it hurting me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Do they accept the termination please?
JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

They do not accept termination, they say I am liable for £280, ie the full lenght of contract to Jan 2015.

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

There is a series of events starting December 10th I can go through it if that helps but I guess it's quicker and easier to stick to the specific point of a) when do I have the right to cancel and b) what can I do to defend myself against their corporate assault if they dispute it?

Alex Watts : Have they supplied the correct phone now? Was it agreed they would supply a specific model
JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

The phone was a regular upgrade, sometime late last summer. The power socket on the phone was broken. They advised via phone on Dec 10th I could post it to them or go in a shop -- I went to two different shops where the service was appalling but I left it at the 2nd and they would only give me some '90s replacement unless I left £60 deposit. I later discovered the phone was set to "emergency calls only". I emailed same day to the "Executive Office" complaining in detail (I earlier had received an apology form the original person I spoke to on the phone) and received a response from an Angie Jones, the head of the executive office, same day (Dec. 10th) saying that she would look into it and get back shortly). I had to travel abroad to my mother's funeral and wasn't sure if the phone fault was temporary. In any case, having heard nothing by January 13th I emailed Angie Jones asking what happened to my phone. Someone called Steven Harrison got back saying basically it was my fault that I hadn't received the msg they allegedly left me to say the phone was ready in the store because I hadn't told them earlier that the phone they provided didn't work -- he said nothing about why they hadn't emailed me as they said they would. They said they couldn't fix the phone but there was a replacement in the store -- I went in on January 16th and the guy said they didn't have it and that I had to wait to speak to the manager because he didn't like my attitude. I left the store, not happy, emailed Steven Harrison and told him to arrange to get the phone to me. He has maintained during the subsequent long email exchange that he is "unable" to get the phone to me and that they have the phone in the store -- where they told me they didn't and got abusive. I have told him that he can either get the phone to me or I cancel -- he has refused to get me the phone so I told him I cancel and canceled my direct debit. He now is threatening to pursue me for the money he claims I owe on the contract and to damage my credit history. I have all the emails in this exchange. ..... All I want is for them to leave me alone.

Alex Watts : Ok. All you can do is get copies of your credit report and wait to see if anything appears.
Alex Watts : Then if it does you can take action
Alex Watts : You can either complain to the information commissioner who can investigate what you say
Alex Watts : They are free and an independent service. Their website is www.ico.gov.uk
Alex Watts : Or you can make an application to the court under the Data Protection Act which states
Alex Watts : (1)If a court is satisfied on the application of a data subject that personal data of which the applicant is the subject are inaccurate, the court may order the data controller to rectify, block, erase or destroy those data and any other personal data in respect of which he is the data controller and which contain an expression of opinion which appears to the court to be based on the inaccurate data.
Alex Watts : (2)Subsection (1) applies whether or not the data accurately record information received or obtained by the data controller from the data subject or a third party but where the data accurately record such information, then—(a)if the requirements mentioned in paragraph 7 of Part II of Schedule 1 have been complied with, the court may, instead of making an order under subsection (1), make an order requiring the data to be supplemented by such statement of the true facts relating to the matters dealt with by the data as the court may approve, and(b)if all or any of those requirements have not been complied with, the court may, instead of making an order under that subsection, make such order as it thinks fit for securing compliance with those requirements with or without a further order requiring the data to be supplemented by such a statement as is mentioned in paragraph (a).
Alex Watts : Where the court—(a)makes an order under subsection (1), or(b)is satisfied on the application of a data subject that personal data of which he was the data subject and which have been rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed were inaccurate,it may, where it considers it reasonably practicable, order the data controller to notify third parties to whom the data have been disclosed of the rectification, blocking, erasure or destruction.
Alex Watts : The court would consider any application made and can order that your credit file is restored.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

Well, frankly, I already was planning to make an applicaiton to CISAS but the aforementioned Steven Harrison at EE's Executive Office has refused to supply me with a "deadlock reference", which I understand to be a ploy to maintain his claim that it has to do with "equipment" rather than the service, which is what I'm contracted for. But I maintain that the contract includes supply of the device and they have refused to do that in a reasonable fashion, thus breaching the contract. You have given me some advice about what to do if I want to claim they have falsely reported me to credit agencies -- to be honest that seems like a nightmare route. Isn't there something I should do to support my claim that they have breached the contract?

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

That'll be -- if you could just refer me to the relevant law re phone contracts. When do I have the right to cancel and what can I do to fight off a giant corporation intent of messing with me?

Alex Watts :

You only have a legal right to contract if it was concluded by distance.

Alex Watts :

That would be the 'Distance Selling Regulations'.

Alex Watts :

If you upgraded going into a shop you have no cooling off period

Alex Watts :

Does this help?

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

The upgrade was done over the phone -- the previous phone had broken and I was due for an upgrade. That phone then developed the fault. But anyway, it was way after the cooling off period -- don't I have a right to terminate the contract if they haven't supplied me with a phone in 44 days, offered no apology or compensation, have lied to me about having it in the shope and refused to deliver it to me? Is there no precedent or guidelines for a regular customer terminating a contract against a large corporation? Surely it can't just be that you are always screwed.

Alex Watts :

Potentially yes there is a claim.

Alex Watts :

99% of cases are not reported and therefore there may be no precedent

Alex Watts :

But this is a question and answer site and not designed for in depth research.

Alex Watts :

Can I help further?

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

Ok - one last question then. What do I look at in UK Law about this situation? What is the law that governs a contract like this?

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

Consumer Advice Bureau says

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

If your service provider has broken the contract

If your service provider breaks their side of the contract, for example, they don't do what is in the terms and conditions, or they don't deliver the service, you may be able to argue that you canrescind the contract. This has the effect of cancelling it without you paying any penalties or charges.

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

So I'm asking about how it is determined that have the right to RESCIND

Alex Watts :

Only you can write and rescind it, if it is disputed it will go to Court and a Judge will decide.

Alex Watts :

But your question was about your credit file and not the law of rescission.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-jjh5wyu2- :

I'm trying to take steps to avoid being taken to court over the credit -- that goes on my record. Never mind.

Alex Watts :

I see you have rated POOR SERVICE

Alex Watts :

What else would you like to know?

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