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Can you get out of a phone contract?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Basically, my sister has signed up for two expensive phone contracts totally nearly £100 pcm, bear in mind neither her nor her partner are on a steady income - they're benefit recipients however have recently been sanctioned by the job centre 'pending review' (apparently, most new applicants get sanctioned straight away now because of budget problems with JSA).

In my mind the phone company should not accept contracts that are basically using such a significant portion of someone's income, but regardless of the ethical debate - is there a way to get out of them short of bankruptcy?

Thanks,
ShyBoy

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sometimes it's possible to cancel a phone contract early, but there will normally be a cancellation fee. Do you know which network she's signed up with?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey!

    Phone contracts are tricky to get out of, I tried cancelling mine a few months ago, and in order to cancel it, I'd have to pay every month's pay thingy, in a lump sum!
    But you may be able to talk to talk the customer service people, and ask them about cancelling/getting a cheaper contract?

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Short answer is no.

    Long answer is no but if they don't pay phone company will have to whistle for money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Short answer is no.

    Long answer is no but if they don't pay phone company will have to whistle for money.

    I wouldn't go blaming phone company too much, there's nothing wrong with a bit of personal responsibility every now and again.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also it's hard to say that maybe people on benefits shouldn't be offered phone contracts - I've had contract phones for several years whilst I've been on benefits and it's not been an issue for me. That said, it was kind of hard to convince Orange to sign me up when I wasn't working even though I'd been a PAYG customer for years and the phone shop basically told me to lie which I wasn't prepared to do.

    I hope they manage to get their situation sorted.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Short answer is no.

    Long answer is no but if they don't pay phone company will have to whistle for money.

    I wouldn't go blaming phone company too much, there's nothing wrong with a bit of personal responsibility every now and again.

    I do agree with you on the third point, so much. The problem is when it's someone you love and they're up shit creek without a paddle, do you leave them to sink or swim or do you see if you can help?

    Some people can't be helped though, and I worry my sister is one of those people. From day 1 she has always had an overspending problem, and I've done everything I think I can.

    If it takes bankruptcy to change her ways then that's maybe what it takes. Even if that kinda breaks my heart :(.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey ShyBoy,

    I saw this article on MoneySavingExpert.com and thought it might help - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cancel-mobile-contracts
    So for example maybe downgrading is an option. Or if the contract came with a phone, maybe sell the phone to raise some funds to pay the contract?

    I understand it must be difficult seeing a loved one in a bad situation and making decisions about whether to intervene or not. As Arctic Roll says people should take personal responsibility.

    If you do decide to help you may like to read this from the MoneySavingExpert too about dealing with debt problems - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan

    On theSite we have articles about bankruptcy too - http://thesite.org/homelawandmoney/money/bankruptcy

    :)
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