Ofcom considers bill shock legislation

Following its review into the causes of bill shock, UK regulator Ofcom has set out an action plan to tackle the problem. The regulator said it will work with the mobile industry on a series of measures to address the main issues identified by the review and if these do not sufficiently reduce damage caused to consumers, Ofcom warned it would consider mandatory options to tackle the problem.

Research conducted as part of the review revealed that as many as 1.4 million mobile phone contract customers may have been affected by bill shock in the past six months, the regulator said.

It identified that the main causes of bill shock were downloading data, primarily while travelling outside the EU, but also when using data in the UK, using mobile voice services in the UK, mainly by exceeding inclusive allowances or calling numbers outside of allowances; and lost or stolen phones – where the number of consumers affected is low, but the level of financial harm can be substantial.

In order to overcome these issues, Ofcom has recommended that UK mobile providers voluntarily introduce roaming financial caps and alerts prior to the EU’s new legislation taking effect.

The regulator has also written to mobile providers asking them to do more to develop and promote ‘opt-in’ measures, such as tariffs that allow consumers to set their own financial caps or receive alerts about usage. And Ofcom said it now intends to work with providers to explore the feasibility of limiting the amount consumers would be liable for if their phone was stolen.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.