How to cancel anything
DO YOUR RESEARCH
If you’ve found a better deal, use it as a bargaining chip to stay put (less hassle any day of the week). Georgie Frost of Gocompare says: ‘In 95% of cases, the company will come back with an improved offer.’ If it won’t budge, it’s time to move on.
Stay strong! The retention team may ask you why you are going – so they can persuade you otherwise – but you are not legally obliged to tell them. Check for any exit penalties if you are leaving while you are still in contract – it may help to tell the supplier why you are cancelling under these circumstances.
PUT IT IN WRITING
Helen Dewdney, creator of thecomplainingcow.co.uk, advises going old school: ‘This stops you a) getting
pushed from pillar to post b) being sold at c) losing your temper d) is quicker, but most importantly, e) gives you evidence, so if a company tries to continue the contract, you have the proof that you cancelled.’
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
◆ If you’ve switched provider but changed your mind, you have a 14-day cooling-off period (under the Consumer Credit Act) to cancel without penalty. For example, if you paid for Amazon Prime but haven’t used it and no longer want it, you are entitled to a refund and cancellation if it’s within reasonable time of the withdrawal period. ◆ If a company breaches your contract with them, you shouldn’t have to pay any penalties to cut the contract early. Under the Consumer Rights Act it has to provide the service with ‘reasonable care and skill’. ◆ If a company is not providing the service promised and you have been misled, it is in breach of the Consumer Protection of Unfair Trading Regulations.
CANCELLING A DIRECT DEBIT IS NOT ENOUGH
It doesn’t mean the company will cancel your service – if anything, you could be slapped with a penalty. Most require 30 days’ notice in writing or via the phone, so follow the correct protocol to avoid extra costs or hassle in the long run. Wait until you’ve had written confirmation of your contract end date before you cancel the direct debit.
Companies are very clever at making us jump through hoops before we can break away. Here’s how to cut through the frustrations of the system.