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Cashback phones are dodgy deals

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Cashback mobile phone deals promise refunds that may never materialise, warned Citizens Advice today.

The consumer champion organization claims many people are lured into a mobile phone contract by promises they will be able to claim back most of the money they pay out in bills, but few remember to claim it.

Low monthly rates may look like a bargain, but many miss out on the promised discount completely and end up paying the full rate – or even being chased by debt collectors and threatened with court.

Citizens Advice spokesperson Susan Marks said:  “We are seeing growing numbers of people who lose money [on cash back deals].

“People are attracted to these deals because they appear to work out much cheaper than other mobile phone packages, but once the money is handed over it can prove impossible to get it back.” 

She added that, in some cases, people find the company concerned has “vanished into thin air” when the time comes that their refund is due.

“The cash back offer is not part of the contract signed with the service provider who does the billing: it’s a separate contract with the shop selling the cash back package.

“Many cash back deals have complex Terms and Conditions buried in small print, and claiming cash back from them may not be as simple as consumers are sometimes led to believe.”


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