Personal Finance

Thursday 31 July 2014

Can I cancel the contract on my new smartphone?

Published 05/06/2014|02:30

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'Once you have agreed to the service, you are usually bound by the terms and conditions of the contract'
'Once you have agreed to the service, you are usually bound by the terms and conditions of the contract'

I recently received a birthday present from my girlfriend of a pay-as-you-go phone. Unfortunately, unknown to her, a few days earlier I had signed up to a two-year mobile phone package with an upfront sum of €199 and an ongoing monthly fee.

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The package included a really good smartphone, but it's not quite as good as the one my girlfriend bought me.

Therefore, I want to see if I can get out of the contract.

I am not sure what my rights are as I have entered into a two-year contract with the mobile phone company.

Am I entitled to cancel the contract at this point?

It is unclear from your query whether you agreed to the contract in store, online or over the phone. Assuming it was in store, you would not be entitled to a statutory cooling-off period.

However, check the terms and conditions of your contract to see if a cooling-off period is provided as part of the trader's company policy. If the contract for the phone was agreed over the phone or online, then you have a seven-day cooling off period. However, if you begin to use the phone during those seven days, the cooling-off period ends and the contract has commenced. A service can include the provision of a product such as a phone as part of a phone contract.

When you enter into a contract, it is important to read and fully understand any terms and conditions attached to it.

Once you have agreed to the service, you are usually bound by the terms and conditions of the contract, whether or not you are aware of them, or understand them fully.

If you wish to cancel the contract early assuming that there is not a cooling-off period, this is at the discretion of the service provider.

The cancellation may incur costs, as per the terms and conditions, so, for example, you may still have to pay the monthly fee for the remainder of the contract, depending on what agreement you can reach with your provider.

Siobhán Howe works with the National Consumer Agency. showe@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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