Been tempted by by the shiny new iPhone 6s? Although ProMediate has not been certified yet to deal with disputes relating to mobile phones, this is an area where we are experienced and clients often contact us about mobile phone contract disputes.
One such customer had ordered a new iPhone 6s which she eagerly awaited. Problem was that Vodafone had her old address on the system, for some reason. She hadn’t lived there for 4 years. The customer rang them to inform them of the new address and was assured that the phone would be delivered to the new address. Lo and behold if it wasn’t delivered to the old address! Further phone calls totalling 1.5 hours later and the phone was reordered, but not without the mobile phone company asking the customer for permission to speak to the delivery company, as if they were to blame.
Clearly not as the contract is between the customer and the phone company, not the delivery company who are entirely innocent in respect of the matter. This is frequently the case, so for example when ordering an item from Amazon or Ebay, is the buyer the delivery company’s customer? Not usually, except perhaps Amazon Prime annual membership service. Any complaints about delivery such as breakages or loss are normally addressed to the vendor who has the contractual relationship.
Sadly, the customer has still not received her iPhone, reporting as follows:
1. Vodafone deliver my new phone to an address I left 4 years ago.
2. Danielle of Vodafone promises me another phone and sends me a tracking number.
3. I call Vodafone and speak to Robert who says Danielle did not action anything but promises that he will.
4. Still no ‘phone so today speak to Jade who tells me that a Robert did not action a new phone but she will.
It’s due to arrive tomorrow.
What are the chances ?!”
Perhaps in future ProMediate will be able to help customers like this.
Under the ADR Directive, Ofcom is the competent authority for the UK communications and postal sectors (including electronic communications services, postal services, premium rate services, Pay TV and VOD services, and equipment supplied with communications contracts such as broadband routers and mobile phone handsets).
In accordance with the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom requires Communications Providers to be a member of an approved ADR scheme for resolution of disputes between the Communications Provider and its domestic and small business customers in relation to the provision of public electronic communications services. They currently approve two such schemes (Ombudsman Services and CISAS). Similarly, in accordance with the Postal Services Act 2011, Ofcom requires regulated postal operators to be a member of a qualifying redress scheme in relation to consumer complaints about the provision of a regulated postal service. Ofcom has approved one such scheme (POSTRS). Ofcom is responsible for enforcing the requirement that Communications Providers and regulated postal operators are members of an approved ADR scheme and ensuring that they comply with the decisions and awards made by the scheme. Certification under the ADR Regulations does not mean that an ADR body is providing an approved scheme for the purposes of the Communications Act 2003 or Postal Services Act 2011 and of the relevant regulatory conditions that apply to Communications Providers and regulated postal operators. However, this is a separate scheme to the ADR Directive and telecoms/postal service companies also have to signpost to a certified ADR Provider and say whether they will use it, which is what we are hoping to do.
Disclaimer: The information and any commentary on the law contained in this article is for information purposes only. No responsibility for the accuracy and correctness of the information and commentary or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. The article was written on the date shown and may not represent the law as it stands subsequently. For the avoidance of doubt, the views in this article are personal to the author and not attributable to any other individual or organisation.