Phones4U breaches consumer protection rules

Phones4U has breached consumer protection laws according to a six-month joint investigation into its practices by Ofcom and Staffordshire Trading Standards. The retailer will now be forced to put forward legally binding standards to the regulator.

The investigation found that Phones4U had breached consumer protection laws by making “misleading, false or deceptive representations or omissions” to customers about mobile phone plans and network coverage. The company was also found to have “unfair terms” in its handset return policy, while not providing customers with a refund when returning faulty handsets.

Ofcom says that it will now monitor complaints against the retailer, alongside Staffordshire Trading Standards. It can also apply to the High Court or County Court for an enforcement order to stop Phones4U engaging in a “particular practice”.

Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse and 3 were rapped by Ofcom in September for using the word “free” to promote laptop deals. It was understood that the word “free” could be seen as misleading and fall foul of trading standards regulations.

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