For three to four months BT kept sending me texts and emails to switch to BT mobile. It said it could give a special deal. The deal was a brand new mobile for £17 per month, which included all calls and text messages.

Eventually I agreed as everything else we have: the telephone line, hub, broadband and internet are all with BT. Just after this, my partner had to be rushed into hospital.

The phone, when we did try to use it, had hardly any signal. The account is in my name but, when my partner was out of hospital, she rang BT. A person talked her through some steps and said it should settle down.

She is disabled so has to have a phone that is reliable. Yet 90pc of the time she can get no signal and when she does and speaks to someone it just cuts out.

Derek Maitland, Cheshire

Just after the phone was delivered your partner went into hospital and was kept in for a week. This meant that during the 14-day cooling-off period for cancelling the phone your minds were very understandably on other things.

You found out when she got home and started using the mobile that it was useless indoors and, most of the time, outside as well.

Each morning, once your partner is organised, she rings you at work so that you know she is OK. Most of the time, though, she could not get through with this phone.

You called BT to cancel it but were told that, as it was not within the cooling-off period, you would have to pay £250 to get out of the contract.

Someone from BT did call you quite persistently giving her own number for you to discuss the issue with her. You sent three text messages asking her to ring your landline as your mobile cut off.

When you rang her from the landline she had gone on a two-week holiday. Meanwhile you were paying £17 a month for a phone that was causing nothing but trouble.

Further to my involvement, BT agreed to waive the £250 exit fee. It said: “We’re sorry for the problems that Mr Maitland has had with his mobile service. As a goodwill gesture we’ve agreed to cancel the contract without any charges.”

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