I secured and led a debate at Westminster yesterday, to press for a better deal on billing and charges for mobile phone customers, and an end to the rip-off billing which has left one million customers out of pocket.
Mobile phone customers are being systematically overcharged. A recent Citizens’ Advice report highlighted that on average, people buying a phone through their contract pay around £22 a month towards their mobile phone handset. Many people take out contracts with the cost of the new handset included in the price of the fixed term deal, the majority of which are paid off on a monthly basis for a period of two years and yet the companies continue to charge customers for phones even after they have been fully paid for.
Unfortunately, most mobile phone providers do not tell the customer how much of their monthly bill goes towards their mobile handset and how much towards calls and data. So loyal customers who choose to stay on the same phone plan after their fixed deal ends see no reduction in their bills.
It is time to redress the imbalance between the powerful voice of industry and the too often ignored voice of the consumer. The telecoms industry has vast resources to expend lobbying the regulator. The UK Government has accepted there is a problem and should dither no further. The longer they do, the more consumers miss out. It is time the voice of the consumer was heard. It is time to act.