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Shaw and Co Solicitors
Compensation Pack Blog
Latest news from Compensation Pack, keeping you informed about your right to claim compensation.

Wednesday 17th November 2010 Mobile Phone Contract Disputes
The mis-selling of mobile contracts has been a serious problem in the UK. It has led to many mobile phone disputes, and many consumers being put out of pocket due to a contract they didn't intend to sign up for.
 
Complaints to Ofcom, the UK telecommunications regulator, concerning the mis-selling of mobile communication services, rose from 50 per month in 2004 to 200 per month in 2006. While tackling mis-selling is a priority for Ofcom, it still occurs.
 
Dishonest Sales Staff Hungry for Bonuses
 
It's unfortunate that some telesales staff and mobile phone retailers are providing customers with false and misleading information to earn bonuses and hit sales targets. This leads to situations where customers who think they have agreed to a 12 month contract have actually signed up for 18 months, or where customers who think they only bought a phone have actually bought a phone and a contract.
 
Even if you've not had to deal with dishonest sales staff, there have been instances where mobile phone companies have changed a customer's billing tariff mid-contract without letting them know. Then suddenly they would get stung by £200 per month bills.
 
In an ideal world, you would be able to complain to your mobile phone company or retailer, and they would sort out the problem. Sometimes this happens, but other times your complaint can be met with rude behaviour -- in some instances people have been told they are a liar and that they should live with their contract.
 
Your Rights concerning a Phone Contract Problem
 
Since September 2009, mobile providers are legally obligated to protect consumers in the following ways: 
They must provide customers with all the information they need.
They must make sure a customer is able to enter a contract.
They must make sure that all retailers selling their services offer fair terms and conditions for any cashback scheme.
They must carry out many other checks on all retailers that sell their services.
 
Solve Your Dispute As Painlessly As Possible
 
Solving a mobile phone contract problem doesn't necessarily have to involve lawyers and court rooms, regardless of whether you went to a mobile phone retailer or contacted a mobile provider directly. 
 
As one example, you can solve a dispute through a Alternative Dispute Resolution (or ADR) scheme. Every mobile phone service provider must be signed up to one of the two ADR schemes available. Their services are free for consumers who haven't been able to resolve their dispute with their mobile phone provider. They can make your provider apologize and explain its actions, and force them to pay up to £5000 in compensation.
 
If you've been unable to settle the problem and don't know where to turn, our Mobile Contract Dispute package goes into detail how you can resolve a dispute, even if you're stuck with a stubborn mobile phone retailer or service provider.
 

Posted on November 17th 2010 on 03:14pm
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Labels: mobile phone dispute
Wednesday 10th November 2010 Lost Your Tenancy Deposit? It Can Be Saved!
It's unfortunate that many landlords and letting agencies aren't as honest as they should be. Your tenancy deposit can be seen as a way to make a quick bit of cash, even if it is taken illegally.
 
Thankfully, new laws came into effect on April 6 2007, as part of the Housing Act of 2004, allowing tenants to more easily protect their deposit. Knowing how to deal with a troublesome landlord, in some cases, can now mean you get more than just your deposit back! These laws also means there are clear steps you can take to protect yourself, in the eventuality that your landlord or letting agency should ever turn sour.
 
The Villainous Landlord Toolkit
 
There are several ways a landlord or letting agency can cheat you out of your deposit:
 
Withholding Your Deposit -- They can claim that you've damaged the property or its furnishings when you haven't. Legally, a tenant doesn't have to pay for damages that have occurred over time through normal use (or "fair wear and tear"). Alternatively, they could simply deny they've taken a deposit at all.
 
Disappear from the Radar -- You might call, only to have them hang up on you over and over, or not be able to get in touch with them at all!
 
Letting Agency Goes Under -- In rare instances, your letting agency may go out of business, potentially putting your deposit in jeopardy.
 
Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes to the Rescue!
 
You don't need to worry if you are suffering from any of the above problems. If your tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy (if you're unsure, then it probably is) then it is likely that you can recoup your deposit.
 
Tenancy deposit protection (or TDP) schemes, as their name suggests, ensure that your deposit is protected. Landlords and letting agencies have a legal obligation to protect your deposit by using one of the three TDP schemes available.
 
They were created to protect tenants. In the past, resolving deposit disputes could be a big headache, which resulted in many landlords getting away with stealing deposits. TDP schemes put a framework in place that allows tenants to recover their deposit more easily.
 
You Can Recover Your Deposit
 
Within 14 days of your tenancy commencing, your landlord or letting agency must send you details of the TDP scheme they are using. If they don't, you can take them to court and get three times your deposit back. That might make you glad they didn't use a TDP scheme!
 
If your landlord or letting agency has used such a scheme, but is still tried to fiddle you out of your deposit, then the dispute can be dealt with by using the alternative dispute resolution process that is provided for free through any TDP scheme. This means that the courts don't have to be involved. 
 
Whatever your situations, getting the right advice and taking the right action can help you to solve a current dispute or protect yourself should a dispute ever arise.
 

Posted on November 10th 2010 on 03:49pm
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Labels: tenancy deposit dispute
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