UK mobile networks accused of ripping off customers
Thought of buying a new phone in the United Kingdom, then you surely must have heard about the mobile contracts. You also would have researched about different deals that different companies offer. But there is one single thing that you would have ignored. That is checking whether the company is going to rip you off after your contract is finished. Yes, this is true. Many mobile networks are accused of ripping off customers in the United Kingdom. In a contract, you slowly pay for the phone, texts, calls and data services which are decided by your provider. But many networks con you by making you pay more, even after your contract has been satisfied.
3, Vodafone and EE are three of the largest network providers in the country which are accused of ripping off the customers. Customers are fooled by them as they remain unaware that they are paying more than they have to. According to Katie Morley, at least six million mobile phone contract holders are robbed out of money. One out of three customers is going through this condition.
There are some providers that reduce their monthly fees after a customer has paid off the cost of the handset but many don’t do the same. As per Matt Hancock, mobile customers should get notified about the paid price of the handset in the next billing cycle in the bill itself.
Government is also trying to work on the changes that can be brought in this situation. Right now there are no such rules that can force network providers to lower their rates but it is possible by the combined effort of government and people that this rule will come into effect next year and will be cold water on burning prices by telecom companies.
If there is a person who is on a 24-month contract for iPhone 8 with a Vodafone provider he would pay £30 for upfront and £54 for a month, which will sum up to £726, a total value of the phone. After the contract ends, per month bill value must drop to £25, which is a cost of a simple sim only contract. But generally, this doesn’t happen. Elderly people are more likely caught up in this web of money con than the younger one. The percentage difference in both the age group in getting conned by these companies is 10% (23% for elderly and 13% for younger)
Even on cheaper handsets, a customer is overpaying about £16. This is a clear rip off of the customers who are old and trust these companies. Logically the price of a bill must decrease after 24 months, but the companies misuse their power of making a decision in the case of billing and charge the same for a longer period.
“We’re already considering this issue as part of a wider project to help people shop around and secure right deals, and expect to announce any steps in spring next year”, as said by an Ofcom spokesperson. Generally, customers discover that they are being robbed at least six months after their handset money has been paid off, till then they already have given out at least 22£ per month, which approximately reaches to 250£ in six months. These are the statistics of smaller phones. If we talk about hi-tech and bigger phones like iPhone 7, galaxy s8 and Experia XZ, they are paying £38 extra on average. Those customers who own the latest iPhone 8 256 GB model, they are paying £46 extra.
It should be made clear before the customer goes for any kind of plan, his date of starting of the contract, the money he has to pay monthly, how the money is decided, exact month when they would have paid off completely for their handset and the amount of money they will have to pay them. It should also be checked by the government that the network providers don’t loot the customers in the name of their services.
The opinion of the public should also be considered in this matter. After all, they are the ones to avail this service. A certain spokesperson must be selected out of the public to speak on their behalf, as mobile phones are a necessity in today’s life and problems related to it should not be taken lightly. Matt Hancock said he sincerely hope that service providers will take into account customers’ advice to create a more efficient billing details differentiating the cost of phones and prices in mobile agreements.
© 2017 Sonal