The Communication Consumer Panel has found that UK phone buyers are being given false information regarding contracts and cancellation policies.
The study found that some high-street stores were not even aware of the correct cancellation policies, and called for standards to be put in place for consumers wishing to cancel their contract, especially when networks offer poor signal in their area.
O2 has responded to the study with a statement, telling TechRadar that all networks need to be transparent:
"It is crucial that customers are encouraged to use operators' coverage checkers before they buy to check coverage in their area," says Gavin Sheldon, head of networks for O2.
No questions asked
"We have a 'no questions asked' 14-day money back guarantee if customers are unable to get the service they need from their mobile and whole-heartedly back the Consumer Panel's call for greater consistency in this area.
"But we'd go further to say that as an industry there needs to be greater transparency about mobile coverage, so customers are equipped with the information they need to make good purchasing decisions from the outset," adds Sheldon.
"Using messages that focus solely on geographical reach only serve to confuse and mislead. No operator can guarantee a perfect experience to their customers. But what we can and should guarantee is that they have been given honest and accurate information.
"In light of this, we are investing heavily in our toolkit to ensure customers and our retail staff have access to up to date and detailed information about network coverage in specific regions of the UK."
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.