Which? Fixed Means ‘Fixed’ Mobile Monthly Contracts?

Which? submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom (the telecoms regulator) in relation to Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Three’s price increases to their fixed term monthly mobile phone contracts and launched its campaign “Fixed Means Fixed”.

Solicitor Sophia King of leading law firm Thomas Eggar comments and provides practical advice for consumers:

“Which? has made two recommendations as part of its official complaint: either fixed should mean fixed and the price should remain the same for the duration of the contract, or, where the operator wants the right to vary the contract price the consumer should be given the right to cancel the contract without penalty: and this does seem fair. It will be interesting to see what Ofcom’s response is to the formal complaint and what the operators will do as a result of the media and consumer backlash.

“In the meantime, what can consumers do? Pay as you go deals are becoming cheaper and better value so one option is to consider refraining from taking out a fixed term contract altogether. However, this may not always be desirable. In any event, those affected should complain to their Local Authority Trading Standard office and to the mobile phone operator to ensure that their complaint is properly recorded. In particular, if the consumer feels that they have been misled by advertising and/or sales practices they should complain to the Office of Fair Trading as the mobile operator’s practices may be caught by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.”


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