Digital content - Couldn't cancel download

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 You’ve generally got a 14 day right to change your mind and get a full refund on your digital content. However, you normally lose this right once you start a download! Service providers should always warn you in their terms & conditions that you’ll lose your right to cancel.

“I’ve signed up to a monthly contract and it doesn’t work”

If you’ve been signed up to a contract for a service that doesn’t deliver, you generally have the right to leave the contract without a penalty.

This means that if you sign up to a streaming service like Netflix and it doesn’t work, you shouldn’t be held to the contract. You do have to give the service provider a chance to fix the problem, though.

You could argue that if the service is consistently poor (for example, if videos take ages to buffer) and it’s the service provider’s fault (not because of your broadband, for example), you should be able to cancel the contract.

You’ve also got a 14-day cooling off period for any contract you sign up to online. This means that you can cancel without a penalty within this time period.

You should know

Most of your rights come from the Consumer Rights Act and the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

The Consumer Rights Act sets out the way you should expect to be treated by a company when you buy digital goods, content or services.

This includes most video downloads, streaming services and ebooks.

The rest of your rights come from the Consumer Contract Regulations. These set out what you should expect from a contract for a service – and give you rules for cancelling a contract if it doesn’t deliver.

Taking things further

It can be tricky to know what to do when you can't resolve an issue with a company providing digital services. Generally speaking, it's best to try and escalate matters through their internal channels. Resolver will prompt you to escalate your case to the next level if necessary.

If you find that you're stuck paying for a service that you haven't received, you can consider contacting your bank to ask them to cancel your debit and issue a chargeback.

Unfortunately, the majority of companies offering digital content and services aren't members of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme – this means that if your problems persist, you may have to consider taking the matter to small claims court. You should always seek legal advice before taking a case to court. You can also consider contacting Citizens Advice for more information.

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