A recent report by Citizens Advice has found that at least six million people are still being billed for their handset with their mobile phone provider, even after they have paid the full amount of monies owed for their mobile phone.
These customers are unaware that they only need to pay for their calls, texts, and data after this period and rather than this monthly rate automatically updating to reflect this, the UK’s biggest providers continue to charge them as if the handset has not yet been paid for.
There is currently no regulation against this practice, however telecommunications providers are now expecting changes to be made next year after Citizens Advice requested that Vodafone, EE, and Three change the way in which they bill customers. The UK government has also called for changes.
An Ofcom spokesman stated: “We share Citizens Advice’s concern that some mobile customers who purchase a handset bundled with their service plan continue to pay the full monthly charge after their minimum contract term ends.”
“We’re already considering this issue as part of a wider project to help people shop around and secure the right deals, and expect to announce any next steps in spring next year.”
According to Citizens Advice, those aged over 65 are the most likely to be caught out by this, with 23% still paying the full cost for their handset without realising that they could only pay the price of a SIM-only contract instead.
Vodafone, EE, and Three have issued statements noting that they always make the contract date very clear to customers when signing up.