Mis-sold a contract? How to get out of it

I think that the Communications sector is the worst for communication and is thoroughly appalling when it comes to customer service. I’ve taken Virgin to CISAS, the communications ombudsman twice (won both times) for starters. I also wonder if the fact that this is the only sector that has two Ombudsman services (CISAS and Ombudsman Services Communications) is because they have twice the amount of complaints than any other sector!

Ben bought a mobile ‘phone from Phones 4u and a contract with Vodafone. Ben bought a ‘phone with a Vodafone contract from Phones 4u. He was told that after one year the monthly fee would reduce by £5.00 a month but this did not happen.

Ben wrote to complain to Phones 4u and was offered £60 as a goodwill gesture (i.e. the difference). Ben’s letter stated that he actually wanted to terminate the contract but both Phones 4u and Vodafone refused to do this. We emailed CEO’s, heads of operations and we had to refuse to pay for transactions of ‘phone calls when Vodafone refused to deal with anything in writing! We quoted the Misrepresentation Act and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (a misleading practice because it would appear that the sales person led Ben to take a different transactional decision than he might have taken if given the full correct information.) As stated on the Advice Guide “If the statement made by the sales person is false and it influenced your decision to buy the service, this is called misrepresentation. If this is the case you can cancel the contract without charges and may be able to take legal action for compensation. A false statement which influenced your decision to enter into a contract is also an example of an unfair commercial practice This is a criminal offence” We got a further £90 from Vodafone.

For ensuring that you are not paying too much for your mobile ‘phone see this great post from SkintDad 4 Ways to Stop Overpaying For Your Mobile Phone.

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See All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers for various posts about consumer laws, rights and contracts, how to complain etc.



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By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

22 replies on “Mis-sold a contract? How to get out of it”

My Daughter had wished to upgrade her phone and we went to the local shop in Irvine to do so. We were told it would take about 2 weeks to arrive. after a number of visits over a 2 month period we called Vodaphone direct as we weren’t getting anywhere.Bare in mind my daughter had broken her phone no useage for a couple of months. We were told the Shop had cancelled the phone. We went back to the shop to find out why. As I suspected the shop hadn’t cancelled.
I also enquired to Vodaphone and to also ask what the £17.50 I was being charged for was. My FREE tablet that I hadn’t really wanted was line rental. When I have 3 tablets in the house and Free WiFi to run them from prompts me to say I had been “Miss Sold” is an understatement.


Hi, I worked at go mobile for a while in a franchise, and the contract I was put on was quite a large price for a 19 year olds first phone contract… I’m now stuck paying £50.99 for a phone I don’t like and a tariff I don’t really use, so I had a Samsung s4 mini on a Vodafone contract and I was getting 3gb of data with unlimited minutes and texts and I was only paying £20 a month but now I’m paying way to much… help 🙁

Please read the post above and the links within. They do not have to do anything unless in breach of any laws.

Virgin Media passed me as customer for my broadband and telephone to talk talk when l expressly said l did not want talk talk as a provider and that they still owed me £60.00p from problems l had with them in 2006 that l had not got over.
Virgin when chased up told me via a line manager there , that l needed to complain to CISAS about talk talk.
On speaking to CISAS they told me they did not mediate with talk talk but neglected to tell me who they did meditate with.
This l was misdirected and somehow my banking details and personal details were passed to talk talk.
I have never had any bills , paperwork or e-mail from either my time with Virgin or talk talk.
I do not consider l have any contract win talk talk but they just used grooming techniques to keep me on he hook and kept promising me a faster speed , which was never going to happen.
I did hope because they were finally speaking to me , that l might at last get the £60.00p compensation they promised in 2006, but again grooming techniques to get me on the hook saying it would be looked into and was even promised a cheque in post twice that never materialised.
I did finally get a letter from Virgin Media saying at the time of passing me to talk talk , that talk talk were their ” trusted partners”.
Apparently l was one of over 93,000 customers that Virgin Media passed to talk talk .
I am mystified how my bank a count can be plundered for large amounts for a service l was never instructed to cost ?
OFCOM recommended l swop to another provider as talk talk ignored OFCOM telling them l was a vulneable person living on my own and still cut my line and Internet off, when it was connected they threatened to do it again.
On swapping talk talk added £400.00p to my supposed bill for a contract broken they say , when l never agreed to any contract.
My bank saw nothing wrong in £243.00p going out of my account in June 2016 even when l tried to claw the a unit back saying thT l did not have a contract with talk talk.
It was December 2016 when l eventually got the amount taken back.
At this time l swapped to another provider and that appeared to get them mad as now they are sending e-mails to their site that l cannot open , but the subject matter says they want £927.00p.
Any contact with The Communications Ombudsman is fragmented with no one there answering on the number they give you.
I have had a head injury and been unable to post anything to them , so they are ruling on what talk talk has provided and ignoring me.
OFCOM just say they are not there for individual complaints an they refuse to acknowledge l am one of potentially many of the originL 93,000 who will be eventually complaining…

if a company has sold me a buisiness phone contract, but i am not a buisness and stated at the time that i no longer operate a buisiness, is this mis-selling? and can i use this to get out of a bad deal?


I took on a gym membership and was told by the sales person ‘I could cancel any time’. cancelled my Direct debit and now they are stating its a 12 month contract and that I owe them £380.00.

They have already passed my debt on to an agency who are bombarding me with calls now. I have explained my situation to the gym but they just seem to be ignoring my point that I was mis-sold this and just keep repeating what they claim I have entered into.

Any advise would be greatly received. Many thanks


We have a 5 mobile number business contract with Vodafone. In the summer (July) while upgrading my own contract, I was told 2 of the other numbers could get a better deal with more data, although being watched by my business setup, would have there own contract deal, as the current package was no longer available. They moved from 1gb to 5gb as now this was now standard, although I expressed that under no circumstances should it ever go higher than 5gb. I double checked that data roaming rules etc as we were going abroad (previous year we were hit by a £711 bill due to data usage abroad). All sorted, my new upgrade arrived (haven’t opened it yet) and before we leave for our annual holiday I called Vodafone to make sure there would be no hidden surprises on our return, ‘yes yes all is fine, nothing will happen, data roaming is all ok now and enjoy your holiday’ etc.
During the holiday in August, I ran low on data, got a text to say this and I called Vodafone to arrange more data to cover the business things I needed to deal with. In a mad moment I asked how the other phones were doing re data, to be told ‘oh yes fine’ – my oldest son gets a text while sat there ‘Urgent your data has exceeded its limit’, so I queried the text that had just popped up, to be told his capping hadn’t been placed on the phone, he had gone over the data allowance to the tune of £170 and this will be sorted madam, shouldn’t have happened and the cap will be placed. We will call you back in the morning to clarify this.
Long story short, the phone call never came, I am spending my holiday calling every few days to see what has happened, and my son could still use the phone. We return home to be told by Customer Relations that capping is not even allowed on business contracts, we should never have been told that the two new contracts would be capped at 5gb, it says on the online phone data information sheet – 5gb UK DATA, all the others just say the 5gb, so it would seem those two lines have been completely mis sold, and to top it off due to past fraud on the account, there is a password access code – I wasn’t asked for that once over the last 2 months of calls to Vodafone. Oh and the bill we returned home to was £1,725.00!

Still waiting for Vodafone to call, I’m sure they will worm out of this but I want to leave Vodafone, enough is enough. If this gets sorted, I’m going to have to pay to leave the contracts aren’t I?

Business contracts may have different terms and conditions that you will need to go through. But the basis of being able to complain using CRA and information above should still apply. You’re welcome.


i need bit of advice over a year ago i called car phone warehouse regarding applying for a contract phone.
the agent was hard to understand but i needed to get a phone.
long story short what i took from the conversation they approved the contract and would send me a phone as well as a cheap back up phone for emergencies that would only cost me a one off payment of £5 on top of the first month now this back up phone was an extremely cheap barley usable phone so never used it.
now when applying for my phone through the car phone warehouse i provided my bank information and they had set me up with a virgin contract.
over a year later – i am saving for my first home ive been checking and improving my credit rating the best that i can one day when i checked there was a negative account from car phone warehouse on my credit rating but no payment history failed or other wise i had no idea what this was as i had paid my mobile bill each month with no issues.
between calling virgin who could only see the contract i had with them at my address and car phone ware house who wouldn’t provide me any information as i couldn’t verify security for the second contract i never knew i had.

eventually they confirmed it was there own I.d contracts that they claim i agreed to and they reviewed the call and claim i did agree to it.
even through the sim was never used they were proceeding to charge me £500 and insisted it needed paid.

what i dont under stand even if the agent i bought the virgin contract from took advantage of the language barrier and signed me up for a second contract why was i only seeing evidence of it a year later.

were it wasn’t any were on my credit report on day then another it destroyed my credit rating with no history of mist payments what so ever.
as well as that i provided my bank account information to them for the virgin contract but no funds were debited from my account to alert me to this other contract or any email or post for an out standing bill or the existence of this second contract.

with all contracts i would have had 14 days in to the contract to cancel and i would have if i had known about that contract.
i have called citizens advice and they explained if they have it recorded that i did agree then there is nothing i can do.

Ask to see the evidence. Put this request in writing. Ask someone to help you write the letter so that the request is clear and in good English so understandable as the above is quite difficult to follow.

My name is james and i was mis sold a mobile phone contract with a company called (Prestige Telecom Group) i also feel like i was pressured into taking out this contract, because when i rang my old providers 02 on advise from prestige telecom and was told not to let 02 to try and stop me asking for my pack code, so i could end my contract with them and keep my phone number which is still with 02 through prestige telecom. when i tried to cancel this contract with prestige telecom after speaking to 02. i was told i could not cancel to contract because i had already agreed it over the phone and all calls are recorded. i then told them that i did not wish to carry on with this agreement, and i was told it was to late and if i did not sort the old contract out with 02 i would still receive a mobile phone with a different phone number and i would still have to pay for that aswell as the 02 contract. so i felt like i was really pressured into sorting out the old contract with 02 and taking this contract out with prestige telecom. i was told my bill would be £36 every month but when i got my first bill this was plus VAT and i really do not recall this being told to me when they sold me this contract. so know i have gone from £38 all in with 02 to £36 plus VAT and any extra with prestige telecom. i was coned into this contract and would like advice on how to get out of it. i suffer from anxiety and its getting worse with all the stress of this phone contract.
Please help me with advice maybe in writing on email so i can send it to prestige telecom to make a complaint to get out of this contract.
Really feel stressed out with it all.
Thanks James

Got this reply below from prestige telecom today. below
Declyn Boakes (Prestige Telecom Group)
Jun 11, 09:27 BST
Good Morning James,

I do apologise that you feel like this but may I ask why is it you feel like you have been mis sold?

With regards to cancelling the contract I cannot action this as this is a business contract.

I do apologise but if you could let me know why you feel mis sold then I can listen to the call and I would be able to confirm if there was bullying tactics or not.


Sent these reply’s back, let see how i get on.
There was a few calls that day and when i rang you company back to say that was wished not to take out this contract because it was taking more time than was stated when received the first call, this was only meant to take 20 min’s tops and it took all day to which i last money and time trying to sort it out, but was not getting anywhere. the hole thing has been a headache from the start and i wished that your company had not rang me in the first place.
i was also never told this statement below and that’s why i was bullied into taking this contract, i was given the wrong info and when i rang back the day your company wanted me to take this contract and told you i had changed my mind i was not told this statement below.
agree a contract over the ‘phone remember that you have the 14 day cooling off period (Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013) in which you can cancel.

your company will earn millions in one year and i don’t think me cancelling will make any difference. but it will make a big difference to me and my little business.
Regards James

By the way finance have still not refunded the £89 it cost me to end my old 02 contract it four days late, if i was late with a payment i am pretty sure you would add a late payment fee on.
That’s why i don’t like the way i have been sold this contract

I Also have the right to request a copy of the transcript of conversations, (under the Data Protection Act 1998) and on the conversation you will here me saying that i no longer wish the pursue this contract and cancel it. that where legally i had the right to the 14 day cooling off period. but i was clear told that i could not cancel it and this conversation is also in the conversation transcript.
so i want a copy of the transcript of conversation and if not cancelled i will pursue this matter with my solicitor.
So yes i was mis sold this contract.
Regards James
by the way there may no longer be a JMD Home Maintenance because i need an operation on my knee because i have damaged my knee ligaments so i may have to close it down and look at other work.
Regards James

Consumer law does not always apply for business to business contracts and I cannot advise on business to business. But I would recommend that you read the tips before replying to them again.

I thought I was renewing my old contract with my provider, but apparently I was taking out a new contract, which wasn’t made clear to me at all, and would keep paying for my old contract, which wasn’t made clear, although on quizzing this recently I was sent an email around the time to cancel my old phone. None of this was explained clearly at the time, and so I have been paying double what I thought I would be paying, and have an extra sim I’ve never used. Have written to them twice, got two calls I never answered from them because I didn’t recognise the number, now they seem to be ignoring me. I called them but got no joy, only polite indifference, all the while I’m paying extra for something I’m not using. I’d say I was miss-sold by omission. Any help and advice would be most welcome. I’m unemployed currently through ill health and cannot afford to fritter money away for something I am not getting.

Sounds like you were sent an email which had the details on. I think you will struggle to evidence mis sold. You can only say mis sold if you have the evidence that information was missing or wrong that gave rise to making a decision that you would not have otherwise made. Get all the evidence together an follow the advice in the post above and links within. If you had an email that said your contract was cancelled then you were informed. If you had to take action to cancel it then you may have a case. If the company has given you two contracts for the same phone number that’s just ridiculous and you should go for not carrying out service with reasonable skill and care under the Consumer Rights Act

According to what I was told, I was sent an email apparently telling me to cancel my old contract within 30 days or I would keep getting charged. I do not remember getting any such email, nor was I told about this at the time of signing the contract in the shop. I kept my old phone number and sim card, and when I was sorting the deal out I was told I would be given an extra sim card, not being told this was my new number and new contract. If I had, I would have taken action as I’m not given to shelling out money for nothing. I’ve written another letter to them and asked them to email me or write to me via a normal letter, but so far nothing. I can’t afford to keep paying for something I’m not getting. I just feel cheated and let down.

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