Cancel your T-Mobile contract - Ofcom to determine if "further action" needed
Last week we provided everything you needed to cancel your T-Mobile contract, after the company announced charges for international roaming would increase sharply. We talked you through T-Mobile's own Terms and Conditions that clearly state their roaming service forms part of your contract, and looked at how T-Mobile play with the wording of the terms to deny customers the right to cancel without charge.
Since then, T-Mobile seems to have succeeded sweeping any trouble under the carpet. Nobody is brave enough to take on a mobile phone operator, and why should they be? Who wants to risk their credit rating over a phone contract, even if they are being treated unfairly? Despite both consumer law and Ofcom conditions appearing to back the consumer, T-Mobile are blatantly ignoring it, justifying their decision by stating international roaming is not a core service.
Speaking of Ofcom, let's remind ourselves of the regulator's general condition 9.3 which all mobile operators must adhere to. You'll note it doesn't distinguish between core and non-core services, but considers changes to any condition in a contract:
Where the Communications Provider intends to modify a condition in a contract with a Consumer which is likely to be of material detriment to the Consumer, the Communications Provider shall:
(a) provide the Consumer with at least one month’s notice of its intention detailing the proposed modification; and
(b) inform the Consumer of the ability to terminate the contract without penalty if the proposed modification is not acceptable to the Consumer.
There's nothing whatsoever left to interpretation in that wording. We contacted Ofcom and asked for their thoughts on the matter:
We are aware of the changes to T-Mobile’s roaming charges and we are looking into the matter to determine whether any further action is appropriate. In the meantime, whilst Ofcom does not deal with individual consumer complaints, customers may be interested to know that they can contact Consumer Direct for assistance.
Consumer Direct is the government-funded telephone and online service offering information and advice on consumer issues funded by the Office of Fair Trading and delivered in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards Services. They are able to look at individual consumer complaints.
So Ofcom are already considering an investigation; hopefully if enough customers contact Ofcom and make their feelings known, it'll help the regulator reach the appropriate conclusion. We've drawn up a letter template for you to send, or you can call Ofcom on 0300 123 3333. In the meantime, if you have any communcation from T-Mobile explaining, please let us know in the comments below.