Mobile Coverage and Contract Cancellation

On 10 November 2010 the Panel published an update to its work on mobile coverage cancellation policies. This showed that many consumers will now find it easier to cancel their contracts if they do not get the coverage they need, thanks to changes made in company policies following pressure from the Communications Consumer Panel.

You can read full details of the changes in the Panel's report:

Improving mobile coverage cancellation policies: update (PDF 304KB, opens in a new window)

The statement is part of a longer programme of work on mobile coverage. Basic mobile services are so central to the way most people in the UK live today that many of us struggle to remember how we ran our lives without them.

Research we published in October 2009 showed that around a third of people who use mobiles regularly had difficulty with mobile coverage.  We advised Ofcom of our findings and we're pleased that the regulator is now working on how to improve mobile coverage for UK consumers.

In July 2010 we published the second stage of our research around mobile coverage.  This report looked at the accuracy of information consumers are given when asking about whether or not they would be able to cancel a mobile phone contract, if they found that they could not get the coverage they needed.

The research report Can I cancel?  Mobile coverage and contract cancellation found that over half (56%) of people buying a mobile phone contract in-store did not receive accurate information about cancellation policies in the event of coverage problems, according to our mystery shopping exercise.

Can I cancel? also found that operators and retailers had significantly different policies. In some cases operators would not allow customers to cancel contracts even if they had no coverage at all. And where consumers could cancel their contract the time limit allowed varied dramatically. Shoppers also had considerably different experiences depending on which operator or retailer they visited. 

Can I cancel? Mobile coverage and contract cancellation - main report (PDF 1.68MB, opens in a new window)

Can I cancel? Mobile coverage and contract cancellation - annexes (PDF 2.42MB, opens in a new window)

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