Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative investigation, in collaboration with Staffordshire Trading Standards
Complaint against: Phones 4U Limited (“Phones 4U”)
Case opened: 13 May 2008
Case closed: 10 November 2008
Issue: Whether Phones 4U has breached any relevant consumer protection legislation
Relevant instrument: Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002
Ofcom’s investigation into Phones 4U has identified evidence that Phones 4U has engaged in conduct which Ofcom considers breaches consumer protection legislation and is likely to harm the collective interests of consumers, specifically by:
As part of its investigation, Ofcom, together with Staffordshire Trading Standards, issued questionnaires to consumers identified from Consumer Direct’s database who had made complaints against Phones4U. Ofcom received a significant number of responses and the analysis of these revealed evidence of conduct by Phones 4U that Ofcom considered to be in breach of consumer protection law.
As required under the Enterprise Act 2002, Ofcom engaged in consultation with Phones 4U to end the identified infringements and to ensure that there would be no repetition of the infringements in the future. The outcome of this consultation is the commitment by Phones 4U to undertakings to comply with the law.
Through these undertakings, Ofcom has secured:
Phones 4U has cooperated fully during the investigation and implemented changes to its staff training procedures and operations. Phones 4U has committed to continuing its close working relationship with Staffordshire Trading Standards to ensure compliance with the undertakings going forward.
Having secured outcomes for consumers that are consistent with Ofcom’s statutory duties, Ofcom has now closed its investigation into the activities of Phones 4U.
Should concern arise regarding complaint levels in respect of Phones 4U and its compliance with the undertakings, Ofcom will consider taking further enforcement action.
Text published when the case was opened
Ofcom has opened this investigation following receipt of a large number of complaints from consumers, to both Consumer Direct and Ofcom’s Advisory Team, concerning a range of issues, including mis-selling, by Phones 4U, an independent mobile phone retailer.
Ofcom’s investigation will consider whether Phones 4U has engaged in conduct which infringes any relevant law and harms the collective interests of consumers.
Case Leader: Miriam Martin ( e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Case Reference: CW/00985/04/08