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.

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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14 thoughts on “Mis-sold a contract? How to get out of it”

  1. 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.


  2. 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 🙁

  3. 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…

  4. 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?

  5. Hello,

    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

  6. Hello

    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?

    1. 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.

  7. hello

    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.

    1. 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.

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