HiWelcome to Just Answer!! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you.
What is the term of the contract, how manyt months?
The new legislation requires that providers cancel contracts within 20 days of notice from consumers. They will also no longer be able to force payment for handsets provided, and will instead be required to take back mobile devices where payment is outstanding.
The only grey area that exists is the amount of money service providers will be able to claim for early cancellation. The CPA stipulates that the calculation of reasonable contract cancellation charges have to take ten points into consideration.
These include some sensible considerations, such as outstanding contract fees up to date of cancellation, the consumer's average monthly spend, the value of handsets that will remain with the consumer after cancellation and those that will be returned to the service provider, the duration of the initial contract, losses suffered or benefits accrued by the consumer and the length of the cancellation notice.
However, they also contain some subjective and potentially vague matters, like the "reasonable potential" of the service provider to find an alternative consumer, general practice of the relevant industry and the nature of goods and services that were detailed in the contract.
This creates leeway for cellular service providers to lash consumers for cancellations. The CPA doesn't do much to curb contract periods. The usual 24 month contracts are still allowed, and the act even makes it possible to have 36 month contracts, so long as "demonstrable financial benefit to the consumer" is shown.
You can therefore cancel but the cancellation fees might be high. However, if not reasonable then one can lay a complaint with the consumer tribunal on www.thenct.org.za
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).