I was looking for a new broadband provider and on August 31 I went to the local Three.
I was sold a 5G router on a 24 month contract which will cost £10 a month for six months and £20 after that.
But when I took device at home, I found that the connection was worse than my existing provider. I decided to return the router and cancel my contract in accordance with the 14-day cooldown terms I saw on the Three.
I tried to return it in the same package that I received it in on September 5th, but I I was told that because I bought the device in a store and not online, there was no cooling off period for my contract.
Three’s return policy states that if you purchase a home broadband device from a store, you are not eligible for a 14-day cooldown period and cannot return the product for a refund.
If I had been told this at the time, I would not have signed this contract. The representative then told me that if I wanted to terminate the contract I would have to pay £300.
Why couldn’t I terminate the contract within the first 30 days? Why is the termination fee so high? Is there any chance I can get a refund because my router’s speed isn’t up to par? JM, via email.
Emilia Chauvelin of This is Money replies: You decide to try a new broadband provider after your contract with your previous provider ended and a Three sales representative talked you into trying a new 5G router.
You asked a rep if it’s better to buy a product online or in a store and they said they prefer you do it in a store as it allows them to stay at work. You were more than happy to make the sale.
However, when you took the device home, you found that your internet speed was significantly slower than you expected compared to your old provider.
Because it was a Friday night, you decided to wait until the following Monday to try and return the item, still within the 14-day cooldown period listed on the Three.
When you went to the store on Monday, the rep who works there told you that because you bought your device from the store, they can’t cancel your two-year contract without a big fee. To do this, they say you will need to pay a £300 cancellation fee.
What is the 14-day cooldown period?
A “cooling off period” is a period of time sellers offer you to change your mind about a product you’ve bought. bought at a distance.
They often appear in the terms of contracts or on websites offering goods or services that you buy online, over the phone, or by mail.
The statutory minimum cooldown period that retailers must offer is 14 days.
The cooldown period does not apply to purchases purchased from a private individual or in a store.
I contacted Three to ask them what’s going on and why the 14 day cooldown period doesn’t apply to your sale.
When you signed up for broadband, you were not provided with a complete copy of the terms of your contract.
When I checked the terms and conditions on Three’s website, the return policy clearly states that they do not offer a return policy if you purchase the device from a store.
The policy reads: “We’re sorry, but in addition to home broadband devices or the devices and/or accessories you have agreed to ship to you separately as part of your store purchase, if you purchased a device. or an accessory from the Three Store and you change your mind, you can’t return or exchange it.”
Consumers should be aware of their legal rights, which are your minimum guaranteed rights under the law, when shopping online and in store.
Unfortunately, if you buy something in a store, you have fewer rights than if you bought it online, since you don’t have an automatic legal right to return the purchased item if you just change your mind.
This is because when shopping online, the item may not appear as it appeared on the website, which is not a problem if something was purchased in person.
So, if you were to buy this device online, you could return it during the cooldown period and terminate the contract within the 30 day window.
When I asked Three why this is and what you can do to get a refund, they said they will terminate your contract without a £300 fee.
A spokesperson for Three said: “We apologize for the difficulties JM experienced in closing this account – in this case, our customer service was not up to our usual high standards.
“We have since closed the account immediately and sent the buyer a pre-paid envelope to facilitate their return of the router.
“We waived the early termination fee and offered the customer a goodwill gesture. We will conduct further training with our team based on this experience.”
Because there is often less protection available, it’s worth considering what items you choose to purchase in-store and consider buying online instead of items that may need to be sent back.
It’s also a good idea to check the return policies of companies before committing to a multi-year contract with yourself.
Most retailers provide a “good faith” return policy for non-defective items, usually offering an exchange, refund, or credit note, but only if they have a return policy.
Stores are not required by law to have a return policy, but they must adhere to one if they have one.
Do your research and make sure you read your retailer’s contract or terms before making a purchase from a store.
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