More than half of mobile phone and smart phone customers are not told about the suppliers mobile coverage cancellation policies, the Communications Consumer Panel has discovered.
Using mystery shopping tactics, the Communications Consumer Panel has found that 56% of consumers were not given accurate information about the contract cancellation policies should there be problems in the network coverage.
The research also uncovered large differences in cancellation policies adopted by the different suppliers. In some cases operators would not allow customers to cancel contracts even if they had no coverage at all, whereas other networks operated a more lenient policy although the time limits for a refund vary dramatically between providers.
Research published in October 2009 showed that around a third of people who use mobiles regularly had difficulty with mobile coverage. With a 24 month contract for the iPhone 4 costing up to £1170, being able to relinquish a contract because of poor reception problems is importanty to consumers.
In the light of these findings, the Panel is calling for the following recommendations to be adopted across the industry:
- A Minimum 14 day time limit cancellation policy for poor or no network coverage
- The right to cancel a contract is the coverage does not meet the needs of the customer
- Consistent cancellation policies across the industry
- Better staff training and the dissemination of more accurate information about cancellation policies.