Feeds

Ofcom slaps down Phones4U

'Illegal' terms and conditions

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Updated UK regulator Ofcom has completed an investigation into miss-selling at Phones4U, and concluded that the high street retailer had concocted terms and conditions that were illegal, as well as giving potential customers bad advice.

The investigation was opened in May in response to complaints from the public and in conjunction with Staffordshire Trading Standards. Phones4U told us at the time that it would "act accordingly" if the investigation showed it to be at fault, which is exactly what transpired.

According to Ofcom the company was in breach of the Sales of Goods Act 1979 - failing to replace and/or repair handsets - as well as the Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 - for the small print on their returns policy and chequeback promotional scheme. Last but not least, Phones4U made "misleading, false or deceptive representations or omissions to consumers in breach of the Control of Misleading Advertising Regulations 1988".

Ofcom's mandate is to protect consumers, not issue punishments, so the result of the investigation is changes to the small print and a new round of staff training to avoid "the making of representations and omissions to consumers regarding network coverage, contract buy out offers, mobile plan characteristics, 'unlimited' internet usage, cancellation rights and upgrades".

Staffordshire Trading Standards will ensure Phones4U complies, and Phones4U has promised to play nicely from now on, so Ofcom is closing the case. ®

Update: Phones4U has now issued a statement, explaining that the majority of failings in handset returns were down to an outsourced supplier, who has now been dumped. They also admit to making a few "minor changes" to their T&C, and reckon that "this matter has now been fully resolved" - so do let us know if your experience differs.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?