How to can­cel any­thing

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Gh Institute -

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.

BE FIRM

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.

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