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July 15, 2010

CCP cites poor state of mobile contract cancellation policies

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by Darren Allan

The CCP (Communications Consumer Panel) has just compiled a report entitled: “Can I cancel? Mobile coverage and contract cancellation.”

The idea of which was to examine in detail the information given to mobile phone buyers on whether they will have the ability to opt out of their contract should the network service provided be unsatisfactory in their area.

Of course, you won’t actually know whether the service is any good or not until you’ve signed up and bought your handset.

And apparently the report revealed that 56% of those signing up for a contract in-store did not receive accurate information regarding cancellation policies, should these sort of issues crop up.

The research was conducted by mystery shoppers (people paid to pretend to be real customers, who note every detail of the service given to them by the shop staff).

The CCP also cited the fact that different operators and retailers had very different policies on this issue, with varying time limits in place. Some wouldn’t even allow cancellation if a customer had no coverage whatsoever.

Off the back of the report, the CCP is recommending that a minimum of a two week period should be instigated where a customer can opt out of a contract due to poor coverage. The organisation also thinks there should be consistent cancellation policies across all retailers and operators, and staff should be trained to explain those policies accurately.

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