If you want to cancel a TV, mobile phone or internet contract, then you should take steps to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities in regards to the cancellation. If you want to cancel the contract before the minimum term is up, then there is a strong chance that you will have to pay an exit fee. This exit fee may include some of the costs that you would owe if you were to maintain the contract. Any exit fees should be clearly set out within the terms and conditions of the contract. If you are not sure about how much you might have to pay, then you should get in contact with the provider to discuss this with them. They may also be able to offer an alternative solution to you, which could mean that you did not need to cancel the contract.
You may be exempt from paying the exit fee if you can show that the company broke their side of the contract. If the price of the contract has risen, you may be able to exit without charge, although many contracts include provisions to allow for the price to rise by a certain percentage. You will also be exempt from paying exit fees if you cancel the contract within 14 days of signing up, during what is known as the “cooling off” period.
Cancelling during the “cooling off” period
If you signed up online or over the phone, you should get back in contact with the company to tell them that you want to cancel the contract. Remind them of your legal right to do so within the first 14 days. Some companies might state that you have to put the letter in writing, but they should count the day that you posted the letter as the cancellation date. It may be best to send your letter via recorded delivery or get proof of postage so that you can use this as proof if there is any dispute about the date.
If you signed up in person, you do not have a legal right to cancel your contract for free within the first 14 days, however many companies will be prepared to let you leave during this period a goodwill gesture.
Leaving if the price increases
A company must give you 30 days notice of any price increase. If you cancel your contract during this 30 day period, then you should be exempt from any exit fee. You will not be able to cancel if you were aware that the price would change when you signed up or if the increase was within the terms and conditions of the contract.
If you did not agree to sign up
Some people are signed up to contracts without knowingly giving their permission, for example if you sign up for a free trial and the company continues to take payments. This is known as a “continuous payment authority“. You should contact your bank or card provider to prevent any more payments from being taken in future.