In the age of the smartphone, there is an expectation that every adult and a large portion of young consumers have a phone contract. By 2018, there is a litany of services and products on offer to the modern day customer – all good news right?
Well given the track record of some providers with continual efforts to source 4G networks, NBN access and mobile devices from domestic and overseas brands that fail to provide the necessary lifespan of older models, consumers have a right to know what they are entitled to.
Given the thousands of dollars they are investing by signing a multi-year phone contract that limits their ability to shop freely to only operate under one provider, mobile users should be wary of legal complications, issues and rights that revolve around this issue.
Here we will outline some of the key points that will arise for mobile consumers as they attempt to find a phone contract and a brand that suits their circumstances.
Consumers 17 and Under
There are complexities and complications with legal contracts for those parties that are under the age of 18 in Australia. Some of these conditions are dependent on the individual opting in to buy only through necessary means (e.g. communication with parents and emergency contacts) and that they are still old enough to understand the consequences for signing a contract of this type. A case might have to be made to legally cancel a phone contract that does not involve an early termination fee, as most telco providers understand that school children are potentially future customers of theirs in the years to come.
Beyond the condition of the phone is the phone’s capacity to pick up internet and reception coverage between networks. Those telco’s who issue devices that cannot receive reception or internet access are not in a position to enforce termination fees on a consumer should they look elsewhere for a superior product.
Whether it is through a verbal means or ideally written out as part of a plan or contracted deal, a telco that has made false claims about their service are legally obligated to cancel your phone contract without incurring any cost. There have been occasions when a brand has marketed themselves as a perfect mobile provider with access across all regions under all conditions, and this has landed them in legal trouble when it comes to enforcing a termination fee.