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T-Mobile allegedly breaches its cancellation policy

Updated Reader complains cancellation was denied
Fri Apr 26 2013, 14:40
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UK MOBILE OPERATOR T-Mobile is not letting customers cancel their contracts following its recent increase in prices, allegedly breaching a clause in its cancellation policy.

That's according to a savvy INQUIRER reader who attempted to cancel their T-Mobile contract following the increase to the network's contract prices that it announced on 4 March. At the time, T-Mobile said, "Due to inflation, which directly affects the costs of running our business, we've had to re-evaluate our prices and introduce an increase."

The reader was alerted of the price hike via a letter received on 6 April, which said that its price increase was based on the latest RPI rate,

An RPI rate of 3.3 was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 10 days after the letter was received on 16 April. This meant that when the the letter was received from T-Mobile the RPI rate stood at 3.2 percent. The letter, which we have read, said that T-Mobile was notifying customers of a 3.3 percent increase.

Thanks to clause 7.2.3.3 in its contract cancellation policy, our miffed reader shouldn't have had any trouble canceling their contract. T-Mobile's terms and conditions state that customers can cancel if there's an increase in "Your Price Plan Charge (as a percentage) higher than any increase in the retail price index", which in this case there was.

According to our reader, however, T-Mobile was not happy and wouldn't let them cancel their contract as stated.

In an email response to the reader in question, it claimed that, in accordance with its terms and conditions, "the relevant measure of RPI should reflect an RPI figure published on a date as close as reasonably possible to the date we provide notice."

T-Mobile continued, "The Office of National Statistics published its official rate of RPI for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. The official measure of RPI for this period is 3.3 [percent]. This is in line with the 3.3 [percent] price increase we notified customers of in April to take effect from 10th May."

However, this is not specifically stated in its contract, which simply states that if the price increase is more than the RPI rate, you can cancel your contract before the change takes effect.

Update
A T-Mobile spokesperson reaffirmed to The INQUIRER that, in cases such as this, its terms and contitions state that a contract cannot be cancelled without having to pay any remaining costs.

They said, "We used the 3.3 [percent] figure in anticipation of the issue of the RPI figure by ONS. Our terms and conditions do not permit customers to end their contract early in these circumstances, though they can choose to by paying any cancellation charges that apply." µ

 

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