Mobile phone sales staff aren't being straight with you about price hikes

15 August 2012

Sales staff being sly arseholoes. That's not exactly news. However, when we find out they're doing stuff that isn't exactly legal, we need to share it with you.

And so, new research has unearthed which shows that over 80% of staff in mobile phone shops provided incorrect information about price rises on fixed phone contracts at the point of sale, which of course means that most customers were unaware that the cost of their “fixed” price plan could feasibly increase.

According to Which?!?!?!, phone companies sometimes use hidden contract clauses to raise the cost of what is supposed to be a tariff that stays the same price, and then, those who are unaware are unable to do a thing about it once they find out. This makes the mobile industry around £90m a year, so it is little wonder they've been keeping quiet about it.

4 out of the 5 major phone operators raised fixed contract prices too, so this is a real problem. Only last month, Three increased their tariffs while Vodafone put their prices up last October, as well as doubling internet rates. Orange and T-Mobile raised prices and the customers saw that their hands were tied and facing early termination fees.

“It’s totally unacceptable that people aren’t being told the full story about potential price rises when signing up to contracts in mobile phone shops,” said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which!!!!! “Shockingly, even when we asked directly about price increases, the vast majority of staff denied this could happen. There should be no nasty surprises after signing a mobile contract. People must be confident that fixed really does mean fixed.”

Ofcom are looking into it too, with a spokesperson saying: “We understand why consumers in fixed term contracts are sometimes disappointed to find that the particular contract they have signed up to allows price rises. While current rules allow for contracts to include price increases in certain circumstances, after receiving consumer complaints on this issue, Ofcom launched a review in January 2012. The review is examining requirements on Communications Providers relating to consumer contracts, including provisions covering changes to contracts.”

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile


  • Bob
    Good morning.
  • Wongaporkpies
    People need to read the small print. The blunt truth is mobile phone companies have so many clauses 1.1.1 , 1.1.2, 1.2.2 etc that are always to the benefit of the phone provider, never the customer. Customers have probably less than 1% to escape a phone contract without any kind of penalty.
  • sicknote
    Staff in mobile phone shops usually smoke, do not was their hands between toilet breaks, drive crappy Vauxhall nova,s and have unhealthy thoughts about their sisters. These are facts.
  • Wongaporkpies
    Sicknote you clearly know a few sales staff who work at carfonewhorehouse lol
  • Chewbacca
    Sicknote, could you at least try and be semi-literate when you're trolling? You utter fucking cretin.
  • Mobilekid
    Some pussy in a mobile phone shop said I could use some of my free texts to send a free MMS. When I sent an MMS I was charged!! When I complained to the Salesman the arsehole said he could send free MMS with his phone. After doing some research it was only doable if you had a text add on and not the unlimited texts most offer. (4 texts were used for every 1 of your mms) Luckily I changed tariffs as they had an instore cooling off clause.
  • sicknote
    @Chewbacca Everyone else understood me, is it cos you not went to skool and sell fones...?
  • Jade
    whilst I agree that it is pretty scandalous that mobile phone providers hike their prices without customers being able to do anything about it, I do think that you are being a little harsh when you tar every salesperson with the same brush... I was a sales person for orange for about a year and although I bloody hated it, I wasn't sly or underhanded with any of my customers, I was always honest and upfront but what you must understand is that salespeople are under immense pressure to fulfil and exceed targets and whilst they are not encouraged to mislead they are encouraged to dress up the truth (ie. make things sound better than they are, without lying) to be brutally honest, the staff probably dont know whats in the small print, let alone the customer!
  • Mancky
    My contract is nothing like it started out with Vodafone, I can no longer ring vodafone to vodafone unlimited - its now part of my minutes, bill rounding UP to nearest 50p after a price rise not long before, NOT unlimited internet as advertised was changed to 500mb in the 2nd month, then another contract rise. I am never using them ever again as a company and I have used them for a decade - it was pure deceit, voda dont give a fuck off course, theyll hire a third party to annoy the shit of me for a couple of months when its nearly due for me to renew then deny they did that. Fuckers.
  • Shea n.
    WTF is dis for real

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