The big mobile phone operators (EE, Vodafone and Three) have been outed by consumer rights group, Citizens Advice for over-charging their customers in contracts for handsets once they have finished paying for them.
Citizens Advice (formerly the Citizens Advice Bureau) is a network of over 300 charities in the UK designed to help and protect the everyday consumer.
Where a lot of customers stay with the same mobile phone handset by default once the fixed deal period is up, their contract charges aren't being reduced or at least reviewed so it seems. The mobile operators claim that contract end dates are made clear to customers from the outset.
On average this means people are paying an extra £22 a month after the cost of the handset has been paid over the life of the contract (generally 18 or 24 months for handset inclusive contracts). For high spec mobile phones such as iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S8 this extra cost can be up to £38 a month! Cheeky buggers!
The mobile phone operator quietly carries on charging at the same rate if you don't change your contract at the end of the period.
Citizens Advice group also found that 23% of over 65-year olds had fallen into this trap and have called for Ofcom to also step in to protect consumers especially those in vulnerable groups or elderly.
This is all bit naughty on the part of those mobile phone operators. The contracts are expensive as it is, and this just takes advantage of those who either don't understand their rights or don't read the small print (not many of us do).
What to do?
The thing to do here is keep a close eye on your mobile phone bills and contract terms. Be aware of the date your contract ends so you know when to contact the operator to either move to a new contract or review the ongoing terms and charges.
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