Safer to buy mobiles online?

As more and more shoppers prepare to start the lengthy process of Christmas gift buying and with mobile phones at the top of many people’s wish lists, a UK mobile phone price comparison website has advised customers that it’s much safer to shop for mobile phones online.

Mobile phone price comparison website, rightmobilephone, has stated that this Christmas it is safer to shop for mobile phones online than on the high street, as consumers can take advantage of distance selling regulations and benefit from the seven day “cooling off” period that comes with it.

This cooling off period is often not available to customers who shop in-store, as Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations only need to be adhered to by merchants who sell over the internet, through digital television, on the phone, via fax or mail order/catalogue.

Customers should be aware of this when shopping for mobile phones this Christmas and note the benefits of doing so online, said rightmobilehone. By visiting a high street retailer for a mobile phone purchase, the customer commits to the contract as soon as it is signed (whether it be for 12, 18 or 36 months) and there isn’t a cooling off period in which they can change their mind, there is no looking back once you leave the store.

Buying online gives the consumer (or the person being bought for) the chance to change their mind and return the phone, therefore allowing them to cancel the contract and break any commitment that they would have otherwise made in a store after signing the relevant forms. This period offers consumers piece of mind and provides opportunity to review handset features, performance and consider any coverage issues they may experience in their location.

Commenting on this advice for consumers to buy phones online this Christmas, Neil McHugh, co-founder of rightmobilephone.co.uk said: “We wanted to raise awareness of this regulation and how it offers consumers protection, often in store consumers can feel pressured, have very little time to review handset features and no way to discover any coverage issues until they arrive home. Once a contract is signed in store there is a firm commitment, whereas online due to the distance selling regulations the consumer retains the right to a cooling off period in which they can review the handset, raise any concerns or consider returning the product.

“Customers should take full advantage of Distance Selling Regulations and realise that there’s a lot to be gained from shopping online. This Christmas, the consumer’s best bet is to buy a mobile phone via the internet rather than via the high street.”