Update 7 Jan 2011 12:00:
Just 90 mins later, T-Mobile called, thanked me for the email, apologised and have reset my account. Now to call some places and find out what my options are for a phone I can actually collect...


TO:MDTMOB@t-mobile.co.uk; CSDIR@t-mobile.co.uk; cust.rel@t-mobile.co.uk
CC:"Leo Davidson" <leo@pretentiousname.com>
Date:7 January 2011 10:30
Subject:Non-delivery of phone and breach of Distance Selling Regulations
Via:GMail

To T-Mobile
FAO: Richard Moat [MD] and Russell Taylor [Head of Customer Services]

For the past week I have been trying to get T-Mobile to either:

I have already referred this matter to the Office of Fair Trading via the government's Consumer Direct line; the representative there agreed with my understanding of the legal situation.

My T-Mobile account number: xxxxx
My T-Mobile phone number: xxxxx

UKMail, your chosen courier, have had the phone in their Dartford depot for the past seven business days (ten calendar days including today), despite it being on a "Premier 24" "next day" delivery service.

The phone has not even been placed on a delivery van for the past five business days (eight calendar days including today). The one day it was placed on a van (30th December 2010), I am told the van broke down before reaching my house. Since that failure UKMail have not even attempted delivery.

The UKMail tracking page for the parcel speaks for itself:

Nobody at T-Mobile or UKMail has taken ownership of this problem; I have had to continually chase this at my end. After waiting the first three business days, with neither delivery nor contact, I had to phone T-Mobile just to find out the delivery company and tracking number.

After being promised multiple times, on multiple days, by both T-Mobile and UKMail, that the phone would be "delivered tomorrow" or "definitely on a van this morning," I gave up and demanded to cancel the deal, as is my unconditional right under the Distance Selling Regulations.

See section 3.35, page 22 of "A guide for businesses on distance selling (2006)" from the Office of Fair Trading:

I was initially told I could not cancel the delivery and that the package-return process, let alone the cancellation process, could not begin until UKMail had attempted delivery (an event which was looking increasingly unlikely). On 5th January 2011, after a lot of arguing, I convinced T-Mobile's Deliveries Department to tell UKMail to return the parcel directly to T-Mobile, hoping this would expedite matters. As of the 7th January 2011, however, the parcel is still sitting in UKMail's Dartford depot.

T-Mobile are telling me, in breach of the Distance Selling Regulations, that my account cannot be returned to how it was before the upgrade deal until the phone has been returned to T-Mobile. I do not have the phone. I have never had the phone. I have never seen the phone. I have serious doubts that the phone or parcel actually exists. T-Mobile's choice of courier and their inability to deliver or return a parcel are not my responsibility.

It is expressly against the law for T-Mobile to not allow me to cancel the deal before delivery (as well as a minimum of 7 days after delivery). The law also states that once cancelled both parties must continue as if the new contract had never existed. (i.e. My T-Mobile account must return to how it was on 28th December 2010, without the 210 fee and with only two months remaining on the contract rather than the 18 month extension.)

All I want is either:

I refuse to wait another day for this to happen.

Any decent organisation would, by now, have either returned my account to normal or put the requested model of phone on a same-day courier, at their cost, to make up for the incompetence, poor customer service and outright illegal behaviour I have been subjected to. Instead I am still being told that "something will be done" and "we'll call you on the next business day," or that "the system doesn't allow us to do that" (which makes the system illegal).

I've had enough.

If I have to write to you again regarding this matter it will be a "letter before action" sent via recorded delivery, after which I will begin a claim through the courts.

I have been a happy and loyal T-Mobile customer for several years now. The phone upgrade deal you offered was also great, on paper. But this experience has made me feel I would rather spend twice the amount to get the phone via someone else just to avoid giving you money in reward for such a terrible experience. This is not the way to keep customers.

Yours sincerely,
Leo Davidson