If you’re looking to save money and get a tight grip on your finances, you’ll almost certainly want to compare quotes on products such as broadband, mobile phones and utility bills. However, while it’s all well and good knowing you can save money by moving to another deal – what if you can’t get out of the deal you’re already in?
It’s very easy to sign up for a service or to buy a product, but it’s rarely so easy to get out of a deal if you change your mind. Here we take a look at some of the options that may be available so you can move on.
Legal rights of withdrawal
In some situations you will have a legal right to withdraw within a certain time period. For example, for “distance sales” – this covers online shopping for goods and services, as well as phone calls and catalogue orders – you have a seven day cooling off period in which you can contact the retailer and let it know that you are pulling out. There does not have to be a specific reason for the cancellation.
Make sure you read the terms and conditions of any product you sign up for and examine the cancellation protocol carefully. There may be significant differences between one product and another so don’t assume that all cancellation policies are the same.
Generally, for mobile phones, contracts usually last a minimum of 12 months and you will have to give approximately 30 days notice in writing to cancel your contract – make sure you do this at least one month before your contract is up, otherwise you’ll have to pay for the extra month. In terms of getting out mid-contract, your best hope is that the mobile phone provider itself changes a significant term of the contract, because this can then be deemed as a breach of contract and you can cancel. Even then you may be required to provide 30 days notice. Otherwise your only hope may be to downgrade to a different contract, but this offer will not normally be available until at least six months have passed and even then you may still be liable for a monthly recurring charge.
It’s a similar situation with TV contracts. You’ll have to give one month’s notice (or 31 days with Sky) to cancel a contract, so make sure you contact the company before the start of month 11 of a 12 month deal. However, if a company changes the contract – such as withdrawing a television channel – then you will be within your rights to cancel the deal mid-contract.
It makes sense to shop around for the best deals on a regular basis and to take advantage of discount codes on products such as mobile phones, televisions and broadband. However, make sure the cancellation fee does not outweigh the saving you’ll make by switching and be savvy about how you get out of your existing deal.
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