Phones 4U sworn to correct its ways


Phones 4U has agreed to correct wayward sales techniques after complaints to regulator Ofcom forced it to investigate it for mis-selling.

Ofcom said today (November 10) it had received “legally-binding undertakings” from Phones 4U it would rein in its sales practices, and stop breaching consumer protection laws relating to the sale of mobile handsets and contracts.

A six month joint Ofcom-Staffordshire Trading Standards investigation found that Phones 4U had breached consumer protection laws by not providing customers with a refund when they returned faulty handsets within a reasonable period of time, by including unfair terms in its handset return policy and by using unfair terms contained in ‘chequeback’ schemes.

It also found Phones 4U had made misleading, false or deceptive representations or omissions to consumers about matters such as network coverage in particular areas, or what was included in their mobile phone plan.

Ofcom said Phones 4U had made certain changes during the course of the investigation, in particular to its handset return policy, its ‘chequeback’ terms and conditions and te job of informing consumers about network coverage, tariffs and cancellation rights and upgrades.

Ofcom said it will monitor Phones 4U and, in the event Phones 4U transgresses its undertakings, it would apply to the High Court or County Court for an enforcement order to stop it doing so.

Phones 4U said in a statement: “The investigation primarily focused on some failings in the Phones 4U process of repairing faulty handsets. 

“The large majority of these failings were already known to the company and ofcom has recognised that the Company was in the process of rectifying them. 

“This process involved a change in the outsourced supplier, which unfortunately took some months to facilitate. However, the new repairs service is now fully operational.”

It went on: “In addition, the company discussed a number of other areas with Ofcom, which resulted in some minor changes to chequeback and other processes.

“Phones 4U has given Ofcom a series of undertakings to ensure that similar issues do not rise again.  We feel that this matter has now been fully resolved.”