Pre-paid mobile phone service plans - Promotional offer unavailable or not fulfilled

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What was agreed to at the point of sale is binding on both you and your provider. This means that if you think your provider is in breach of the contract (for example, if they’re delivering a service at a price other than what was agreed), you should expect them to take action to resolve the matter.

If you’ve signed up to a plan having been told that you’ll be getting a certain offer, you should expect the service you receive to be as described. In some circumstances, the service provider may offer you a price reduction.

However, it’s worth knowing that if an employee has made a mistake in offering you a deal that isn’t available in your area, for example, you can’t realistically demand that the service provider honour the offer. That being said, you shouldn’t be left out of pocket as a result.

According to the Consumer Rights Act, any information given to you that you take into account when making a decision about entering into a plan is to be considered a binding part of the plan. If you discover that you’ve been misled or badly informed, you have the right to demand that the mistake be rectified, or, where this isn’t possible, you have the right to end the plan or demand a reduction in price. 

If you discover that you’re not getting the deal you saw in promotional materials, it’s important that you contact the service provider as soon as possible.

You should know

If you have an issue with your Pay As You Go Plan, use Resolver to raise a complaint with your service provider. If you remain unhappy, Resolver will help you to escalate your concerns to the relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme - which will be either OSC (Ombudsman Services: Communications) or CISAS (Commications Industry Adjudication Service).


I received a huge phone bill after a holiday abroad

As of June 2017, data roaming charges within the EU have been dropped. The new rules mean network providers will charge the same rates for calls, texts, and data in the EU as they would in the UK.

However, UK network providers differ in the number of countries they will be applying the new rules to. Variations will also occur depending on whether customers are on pay-as-you-go or on contracts. Exceeding text, minute and data allowances will still be chargeable.

We advise travellers to double check the rules with their network providers before using their phone abroad.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

All telecommunications firms are requird to be a member of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme that has been approved by the regulator, OfCOM. Currently, OfCOM have approved two schemes - The Communications Ombudsman and CISAS (Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Service) - and all service providers must be a member of either of these two ADR schemes.

An ADR scheme can help when a dispute cannot be settled by a telecommunications company. The ADR process offers a quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes than going via the courts. Once the internal complaint process is exhausted, businesses must give the consumer details of an approved ADR provider and tell the consumer if it is willing to use them. 

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Resolver covers the issue Promotional Offer Unavailable Or Not Fulfilled for 12 companies and organisations: