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back to article Consumer Panel recommends try before buy mobiles

Punters should be able to sign a mobile contract then revoke it if the coverage isn't up to scratch, according to recommendations from The Communications Consumer Panel. The recommendation comes out of research that found 56 per cent of UK-mobile-phone users have experienced a lack of coverage, with a third having regular …

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Video callers are using free minutes?

A colleague used to make video calls on 3 regularly -- because it allowed him to make free calls after his voice minutes were used up.

Also perhaps there are other people making video calls but you haven't seen them, and they don't necesarily admit it to you, because they are of a more "personal" nature?

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Stop

This is a pointless non-story...

Under the Consumer Credit Act, anyone taking out a mobile phone contract has a 14 day cooling off period in which they can cancel and return the handset for a full refund.

Of course, stating this would seriously undermine the quango responsible for tyhe report and the value of their 'research', however, shame on the press for not putting a bit of thought into the reporting og this non-story.

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Flame

Trains and main roads

The places where I most often lack coverage are on trains and main roads. Coverage where people live or work is usually present, if sometimes dropping back to 2G, but I go through a blackspot on the train to work every day.

There are lots of blackspots on motorways and other main roads too. Mobile phones would be a lot more useful if you could use them when you're actually in motion, rather than only being able to use them when you're stationary.

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User complacency is the isue

Im no fan of the phone networks but user ignorance and complacency seems to be the real issue here. As pointed out above most networks allow you to cancel your phone contact in 14 days if its no good, in fact im sure when I tried a BB Storm on Vodaphone it was 28 days and I returned it on 27 and got all money back. Same for my failed attempt to like minmo phones, both rethurned for refund.

There is an issue with porting your number back and forth, but again its never been a huge one for me. Ideally you could try the phone on the tempoary number and then get ported if you like the phone/network, but some only let you port at time of contract sign (I think).

Id bet most users buy thier shiny new phone wihtout a thought about coverage, then it does not work as they expect, but they cant be bothered to return it as they are too dumb to backup thier contacts and photos etc and proably love thier shiny new nokia/iphone/sonty bling etc. Still they like a winge when they can..

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FAIL

CCA Irrelevant

@ Flameproof.

The Consumer Credit Act applies to credit agreements, a mobile phone contract is a service agreement, these types of contract are not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act. As a result mobile phone contracts do not have a cooling off period, unless they are sold at a distance or in your home or place of employment.

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@fLaMePr0oF

There is no 14 day return policy for mobile phones anymore. Hasn't been for well over a year now

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Three ripped me off in August by selling me a contract that doesn't exist.

I bought a PAYG sim card in August from Carphone Warehouse on the 3 Stretch plan. I was really annoyed with 3 as I got told that this plan no longer exists and Carphone Warehouse shouldn't be selling it. After I kept telling them that it is illegal to sell something as advertised and then to totally change the package all I kept getting back was that they couldn't do anything and I'd need to return it to CPW for a refund. As I was too busy at the time, I was helping on a scout camp and used the only time I had to go and get the sim card I didn't have time to return to CPW to get a refund.

I was really annoyed with 3 over this as I'd been a contract customer with them since the service started, I only bought the PAYG sim card because I'd run out of minutes on my phone and it worked out cheaper to buy a Stretch sim as advertised instead of keep using my phone, instead it cost me more because the new PAYG contract didn't have the option to stretch.

I was very disappointed with 3 for just keep coming up with the same old bull that they hadn't false advertised, despite the sim card had come in a box that was all printed advertising the stretch tariff. If they had discontinued the stretch tariff in June as they claimed, firstly why did they not de-activate all the sim cards that were in these boxes to stop anyone from being mis-sold them? and also why did it take them until August, after my complaint to them to update their website to tell people the stretch tariff is no longer available.

The only thing they told me they would do is change their website, and recall all those sim cards from CPW to ensure no-one else gets mislead, no sorry, or free credit. Three just don't give a damn about their customers, very bad company, stay away from them. Also it gets even worse when you try and cancel one of their contracts, every 5 minutes you get a pestering sales call from someone in India offering you the same contract your on for the same price if you stay with them for another month, and sometimes they don't even bother to disconnect the phone when you cancel your contract.

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Unhappy

@ Richard Gadsden 1, "Trains and main roads"

Unfortunately they are unlikely to be bothered about motorway coverage; the official line these days is that using a mobile anywhere near a moving car* causes OMGFIREYDEATH and should warrant a billion pound fine, and eleventy gadzillion years in jail.

*In fact, doing anything in/near a car other than looking at the speedo and feeling thermageddon guilt

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Video calls...

I actually know one person who uses video calling... And attempted to make such calls with me regularily until I finally put my foot down and told him to stop lest I shove his phone where the sun doesn't shine.

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FAIL

The problem is you and me.

If you want decent coverage, you need to have masts near to places that users are.

Due to the sort of *intellectual reasoning* of Daily Mail readers and people who are lead blindly by 'screeching' reactionaries and Doctor's wives, network operators have difficulty in placing cells.

"Not in my back yard" is the cry... and then, "why isn't my phone working? I want my money back waaaaaaa!"

What these people don't realise is that a local cell kicks-out less RF and using a phone that's trying to cling onto one bar of coverage. This is due to the locally attenuated engineering designs built-into all cellular networks and phones. Closer to a mast, less RF etc.....

Next time some badly informed person comes knocking at your door, send them packing if you want to get decent coverage.

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3!3!3!

Apart from the comment in the article about the British propensity for complaining, which is at odds with a commonly held view that the British tend not to complain, at least not to the source, there was a legal case setting a precedent for mobile companies not able to provide coverage having to cancel contracts and make refunds where appropriate. In the case of Three (3! ripoff merhcants) at least, they just keep blithely repeating that according to their records there is coverage and they are anxious to ensure you get a good service so please ring them.... ad nauseum, until the current contract has expired - and been paid for up to the last (in my case forgotten) eightpence

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