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UKTony

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My 13 year old son ran out of credit on his mobile phone on Monday while we were shopping and asked me to put some credit on it for him, imagine my suprise when my wife tells me today his credit had ran out and she had topped up his phone again, after spending some time explaining to him the virtues of budgeting imagine my suprise when he insists he hasn't used his phone for more than a couple of minutes, after a lengthy conversation with T-mobile it turns out he has been receiving Txt messages on a daily basis at a cost of £3.00 each with additional messages at £1.50 each. It turns out out he had purchased at some stage a Ringtone from a TV advert and having of course not read the T&C's subscribed to a fixed charged service which gave him unlimited tones for a fixed price per week, not once but a total of 4 times. After spending some time getting through to the company in Germany supplying the service they have agreed to a full refund of some £82.00 and a total bar on his phone number, they were extremely helpful but i can't help thinking what a complete con these services are, worth mentioning to your youngsters
 

mudman

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I get really annoyed about this (am I becoming a grumpy old man? :? ). They advertise a free ringtone, which appeals to the kids especially. Yes you get your free ringtone, but then you also find you've subscribed to the ringtone service and have agreed to buy their ringtones. Scandalous. :evil:
 

tim

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I think the problem arises when minors basically have access to adult things ie anything with a commercial contract. It also drives me nuts that all the radio stations esp Radio 1 are constantly banging on about texting in to contribute to pointless polls just to subsidise the licence fee. Does anyone know what income is generated from this.

My view is, if you are the bill payer and an adult and you haven't read the T&Cs then thats your lookout but if you are a minor then the companies should not have a leg to stand on. The problem seems to stem from an inconsistency of the age of majority:

You can marry at 16, drive at 17, vote at 18 - yet aparently you are also deemed able to determine the concept of a legal contract eg phone tones at any age - so how does that work?

T
 

Gill

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I found this on the Citizen's Advice Bureau website:

Contracts

Types of contracts

A contract is a legally binding agreement. It may or may not be in writing. If one side fails to do what has been agreed, the other side can take them to court for breach of contract and may be awarded damages. Examples of contracts that a young person may be involved in include contracts for the purchase of goods and services, credit agreements, employment and housing contracts.

Unenforceable contracts


If you are under 18, you cannot normally make a legally enforceable contract and so cannot be sued for damages under any agreement you have made - but see below. However, if you make an unenforceable contract, you can be ordered by a court to return any property you acquired as a result, if the person with whom you made the contract has suffered a loss.

The other party to an unenforceable contract cannot enforce its provisions against you as a young person but you can still enforce your rights under the contract.

When you reach the age of 18, a contract that you entered into before then is unenforceable unless you confirm that the contract should become binding.

Enforceable contracts

Some contracts made by a young person are legally enforceable. These are contracts for necessaries. The most usual examples of this are food and clothing.

As a person aged under 18 you can be responsible under a contract to provide you with necessary services, for example, legal or medical services. You can also be responsible under contracts for an apprenticeship, employment and training, but only if the contract as a whole is for your benefit.

If you drive a vehicle when you are 17 you must have third party liability insurance, even though you cannot usually enter into a contract until you are 18.
 
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