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I have Change My Mind About a Phone Contract - Can I Cancel?

07 March 2019

It’s a big dilemma when one enters a mobile phone contract and immediately wishes to come out of it. You simply don’t need the phone or the contract anymore. It might be a little complicated but certainly not impossible to cancel it. Returns are certainly possible.

The phone only

If returning concerns only the phone, then how you made the purchase matters;

  • Purchase made new in person

If you bought the phone from a shop in person, then chances of returning the phone are high as these stores usually have a said return policy which allows for returns with a defined return period which can either be 14 days or 30 days. Take the phone in its original packaging with the bill to the shop. Though you may or may not get the money back.

However, if you bought the phone on sale, chances of return are very low then.

  • Purchase made online

Chances of returning the phone are rather high if you made the purchase online. The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 are designed to protect online shoppers. It gives a 14 days period to make the return from the date of receiving the phone.

A Mobile Phone Contract

With the phone sorted, it now comes to the mobile operator. Read out the contract and look for any cancellation periods. While some operators allow cancellation of contract within a few days of signing it, some do not. There are two circumstances under which you should be able to cancel the contract with no problems, however, whatever your contract may say.

  • Contracts Agreed to Online or Over the Phone

If the contract was signed online or over the phone, then Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 is beside you and you can cancel within the first 14 days.

  • Contracts that Go Up in Price

The only other condition under which you can freely cancel your contract is if the price is more than you were quoted. The operator usually gives 30 days notice  about the price hike, and you are free to cancel anytime within those 30 days without penalty.

So I'm Stuck in My Contract?!

Even if neither of the above conditions applies to you then also you have scope to come out of the contract. You have the right to cancel a service contract whenever you like but will have to pay a penalty for contract cancellation. This penalty varies by the operator but is usually a percentage of the monthly bill multiplied by the number of months left in the contract.

Changing Your Mind

When it comes to expensive items like mobile phones and phone contracts, it is always better to take sufficient time before binding oneself up in them. And always remember that buying or signing online gives you 14 days of grace.