Well well, i am quite surprised at the efficiency of Consumer Direct and Ofcom, which is the regulator for communication industries in UK. When i sent an e-mail, i didn't expect a reply within 1 or 2 days. I always think people take hard copy written paper more seriously than e-mails, when it comes to complain.
So, i called Consumer Direct and the adviser has been helpful and honest. He said as long as it's stipulated in the terms and conditions, there's nothing to stop them for voiding my cash back when i fail to comply with them. He did agree that the deadline that they gave me was too tight, in an attempt to nulify my claim.The letter was dated 29th of June, i received it on 3rd June, and my 2nd part of my bill is meant to reach them before 9th of July. It's Royal Mail we are talking here. He gave me a reference number which i can quote in the future.
Then i received a reply from Ofcom the very next day after i wrote to them. I am not the only poor soul who made the complaints. They also received lots of other complaints.They opened an enquiry with Trading Standards to look into this matter. Unfornately, these phone companies are third parties, as they are not the direct network provider, so they can't take any actions against them.
The one good thing is, the mobile network operators have issued updated Minimum Business Standards to their retailers which prohibit various terms from being included in the cashback offers.Any non-compliance will put them in breach of their legal obligations and their contractual agreements with the mobile network operator . My complaints has been logged and recorded.
Today, i received an e-mail from Consumer Direct because i called and wrote an e-mail too. Same message but they sign post me to Hackney Law centre where there are volunteer solicitors that can give me legal advice and Citizen Advice Bureau with contact numbers etc. A case has also been created and passed to Trading Standards Department for information.
That's good, my aim has been achieved. A VOICE that speaks. I want them to know there are such schemes out there, although i have been a fool myself. I do admit that. Still.. they should know about these small companies who get their business from website. When my contract ends in November, i'll stick to giants like carphone warehouse.
I am still waiting for reply from my phone company and their verdict. Well, i am just hoping for a tiny bit of mercy but not expecting much. I wrote a letter and kindly ask them not to dismiss my claim.
Nevertheless, watch the space and this has indeed been an interesting ride for me. At least now i know where to go for advice and consumer rights. Thanks P !