Communications ombudsman gets stern with mobile providers

18 November 2011

data-tng The mobile phone providers are getting it in the neck today from the powerful-sounding ‘communications ombudsman’, Lewis Shand Smith, who is unhappy about the massive bills that some consumers are running up as a result of downloading stuff and streaming videos to their phones and whatnot.

Part of the problem is that the Advertising Standards Authority still seem to think it’s fine for providers to plug their ‘unlimited’ data packages, even though most of them have a fair use policy that is hidden away in the small print. As a result, too many users are being caught out and charged huge amounts when they exceed the fair use limit. This does not please the ombudsman.

He wants more clearer information about capped ‘unlimited’ services as well as advising customers on how much data they’re downloading and warning them when they’re about to reach their limit. Will it happen in a hurry? We doubt it.

Research carried out by Ofcom earlier in the year suggests that 6% of UK consumers received an unexpectedly high mobile, landline or broadband bill over the past year, with a fifth of those saying they were charged over £100 more than they expected.

Data roaming is one of the major causes of big fat bills, with costs varying wildly. O2 charges £3.07/MB when roaming in Europe and £6/MB for the rest of the world, while Vodafone charges £1/MB up to 5MB, then £5 for every additional megabyte after that in Europe. From July next year, new EU laws will mean that roaming data charges will be capped at 80p per megabyte.

TOPICS:   Utilities   Privacy

10 comments

  • The B.
    You know what? Just buy the phone unlocked and then go with someone like Giff Gaff, no hidden charges, unlimited data, unlimited texts and decent call tariffs for a fraction of the larger providers, that should **** 'em over. Although obviously you won't be able to buy an iPhone which means that only iPhone users will be getting ripped off, it's a win win.
  • Nice b.
    ...O2 owns Giff Gaff.
  • The B.
    Ignore me, I don't know anything. Of course you can buy unlocked iPhones from the Apple Store, then get a microSIM from the Giff Gaff community. Plenty of people who actually know what the fuck they're talking about already do it.
  • Jax
    @Bob So when everyone moves over to GiffGaff, they wouldn't think of putting a cap on their downloads? Sadly nothing lasts forever. I just don't see why the watchdogs can't stop them outright like T Mobiles ridiculous claims of unlimited internet with a fair use of 500mb! 500mb doesn't even come close.
  • The B.
    There's something you don't see every day, an educated iPhone user, shame they're so spineless that they have to pretend to be me (yet again).
  • The B.
    Of course O2 own Giff Gaff and other providers are simply leasing from the big four, it doesn't alter the fact that if everyone leaves them to go for better deals they'd have to change their business model.
  • Boris J.
    This "The Real Bob" thing is confusing me. It was alright when there was a "Bob" and a "Fake Bob". I could even cope with a "The Real Bob". Now there appears to be a fake "The Real Bob" and this means I have to put some though into understanding who is real and who is fake. Could the fake "The Real Bob" please start using the name "The Fake The Real Bob" please?
  • Boris J.
    ... unless "The Real Bob" is actually just pretending that there is a fake "The Real Bob" to mess with my head. If that's the case then can "The Real Bob" call himself "The Real The Real Bob Faking The Real Bob" or something clear. I miss "Bob". I'm going to find some beer and a fox.
  • The B.
    I started using The Real Bob because there was already a Bob and no, I'm not messing with your head there's a plonker pretending to be me.
  • Boris J.
    Sorry "The Real Bob" but that did not help. I am now not sure if what I post is real or not. Just to make sure that nobody is pretending to be me I will change my name back to plain old "Boris". Anything posted by "Boris Ziraleet Johnson" should be regarded as suspect.

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