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Telco D’s advertising does not include possible costs of ‘free’ trial

The complaint
Telco D’s advertising does not include possible costs of ‘free’ trial
The outcome
Some customers were entitled to a remedy such as ending the contract or receiving a refund

The issue

Telco D advertised a ‘risk-free’ trial period on its website. Customers could trial Telco D’s service and cancel within a specified period if they did not wish to continue with it.

Customers signing up to the offer could either use their own equipment or equipment supplied by Telco D. We received several complaints from customers who cancelled during the trial period and were left out of pocket for the cost of the device. The customers told us Telco D would not allow them to return the equipment.

Although only a small number of customers complained to us, we realised the problem could affect any customer who signed up for the offer with Telco D’s equipment and cancelled during the trial period.

The investigation

Telco D readily engaged with our Systemic Investigations team and actively worked to address each of our concerns and improve its practices. During our investigation, Telco D:

  • renamed the offer, removing the reference to it being without risk
  • added a symbol to the offer name in its advertising, with a hover box containing information about costs if the customer did not continue with the service
  • ran extra training for its employees
  • sent us details of how it had resolved each complaint

The outcome

Some customers were entitled to a remedy such as ending the contract or receiving a refund.

How we've helped other customers

Complaint
Telco E sells technical support to customers who do not understand or need it
Outcome
Telco E retrained its staff about the service. It also gave customers who were signed up to the service the option to cancel without a cancellation fee
Complaint
Telco C credits customers who received high bills after using a ‘pre-paid’ service
Outcome
We worked with Telco C to help it improve the information it gave customers about possible data charges