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Contract-ed A Bad Case Of Legalese

, , | Legal | June 22, 2018

(I recently pre-ordered a new phone before noticing I could find a better deal direct from the manufacturer. As a result, I call the after-sales support to cancel my original contract within the 14-day period, as enshrined in law in the UK under distance selling laws.)

Agent: “I’m afraid you’ll need to return the product to us within 14 days to cancel the contract.”

Me: “The phone isn’t even released for another three weeks, so I need you to cancel the contract within the 14 days as mentioned in the email you sent me when I placed the order.”

Agent: “No, you need to wait until you’ve got the phone first and then return it or refuse delivery.”

Me: “At which point I’ll be out of the 14-day return period and I’ll have to pay for an £870 phone.”

Agent: “Just ignore that and return the phone when you get it.”

Me: “Are you asking me to breach a legally binding contract between the company and myself?”

Agent: “Just ignore that.”

Me: “I’m assuming your calls are recorded? Please play what you said to your supervisor.”

Agent: “I don’t have to do that, and I can choose not to record a call.”

Me: “It’s okay; I’m recording the call.”

Agent: “You can’t do that; it’s wiretapping and against the law.”

Me: “It’s neither wiretapping nor against the law. Under Section 36 of the 1998 Data Protection Act, I’m allowed to record any phone call under such circumstances and don’t even have to inform you of this.”

Agent: “People like you always think you’re so smart. I’m better than you and don’t have to deal with this. What makes you think you’re better or smarter than me?”

Me: “Well, for one thing, I’m aware of the law that allows me to record this call, the second is you’re asking me to breach a contract, and the third is you’re working in a call centre for minimum wage so I’m betting you probably don’t have a post-graduate in the relevant laws.”

(I eventually gave up and later called their sales support team who were able to cancel the contract inside of a few minutes, with no attitude.)

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