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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I took out an18 month contract with T Mobile for a broadband

Resolved Question:

I took out an18 month contract with T Mobile for a broadband dongle. The contract legally ended on 25/02/2014. They sent me a notification of the termination date (25/02/2014)
As the contract legally ended on the date stated, I cancelled the direct debit. I then received a letter stating that I owed them £15 for a further month because I neglected to inform them 30 days prior to the contract legally ending, that I wanted to terminate the contract??? They attempted to remove money from my account, which was cancelled. I believe that, irrespective of failing to give them 30 days notice, I am under no obligation to make any further payments and THEY are in breach of the contract in attempting to remove money from my account after the contract had legally ended.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As the contract legally ended on the 25/02/2014, am I legally bound by law under the terms and conditions to terminate a contract which is legally ending in 30 days anyway???

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Does the contract demand that you give them notice of cancellation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, 30 days prior to the contract ending anyway. I saw no need as the contract legally ended on the 25/02/2014. Why would I terminate a contract that would legally end in 30 days anyway??? Had I been admitted to hospital and unable to give 30 days termination notice, they would have continued to remove funds from my account even though the contract legally ended. This has to be illegal. Surely they have no legal right to remove funds from an account after it has legally ended irrespective of the 30 day requirement!!!!!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, it depends whether the contract allows it to roll over which is probably whats happened here.

If you had an option to cancel in January to end the contract in February 2014 and you did not do so then the contract carries on. With mobile phone contracts generally speaking the end date of a contract is not actually an end date but a date upon which the contract can be ended.

If you are saying that you did not, and the contract allows them to roll it over, then they were free to deduct the funds.

It can be resolved easily enough by cancelling now and that will bring it to an end in the long run but there is no way of reclaiming unless the contract did not allow them to do this.

Rolling contracts have been criticised by the OFT but this isn't of the type that would offend because one of the reasons they were criticised was that they were locking people into very lengthy periods whereas all you have to do is give 30 days notice at any time.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There was never any written or verbal agreement by me that I agreed to a rolling contract. Neither the shop or the company informed me of this and I would not have agreed had I been informed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I thought you said the contract demanded a notice period?

There will be a contract even if you don't have a paper document. Even if you didn't read it one will exist.

I'm afraid this is a fairly standard term in a mobile phone contract.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry to be a pain, surely terms and conditions are a requirement of a contract, they are not law. Surely the company are required to inform customers that the contract is a ROLLING contract not a fixed term contract. What you are saying is that this company can legally remove thousands of pounds from an account, simply because they failed to notify them 30 days prior to termination which one would assume is a fixed contract having not be informed of anything different.


 


Surely, legal people as yourselves should be pressuring the government to change this ridiculous situation.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Terms of a contract can be relied upon in.

They are not required to inform customsers beyond a term in the contract.

The OFT guidelines are just guidelines not law and even they only demand that companies warn consumers if their contracts are going to roll over into another year plus.

They do not have to notify you of the need to cancel I'm afraid.

I'm really sorry and I wish I could say something else but its not for your contractual partner to remind you that you need to cancel under the contract. Some choose to comply with the OFT recommendations but they relate to much longer locking periods that may offend against UCTA. This does not.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok Jo, I am defeated but I still say this situation needs a serious review, this amounts to legal theft. I will let you go for a break now, put your feet up and have a cup of tea...Ian

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

If you complain vigorously they might cave in and offer a refund.

its just that if you went to court and they fought this then you would lose.

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