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Customers are being misled over ‘fixed’ mobile phone contracts

Consumer body Which? has revealed
Wed Aug 15 2012, 00:00
UK money

CUSTOMERS ARE BEING MISLED over 'fixed' mobile phone contracts when they sign-up for tariffs, consumer body Which? has revealed.

In a statement, Which? has revealed that 82 per cent of staff in mobile phone shops misinform customers of potential price increases on their pay monthly contract, and instead maintain that prices will stay the same throughout the length of the tariff.

However, as we've seen this year, this isn't factually correct. Four of the UK's main mobile networks - Orange, T-Mobile, Three and Vodafone = have increased the prices of customers' contracts by 4.34 per cent, 3.7 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 50 pence, respectively.

These findings were discovered by Which? mystery shoppers, who snooped on staff in mobile phone retailers. Upon questioning one staffer as to whether their two year contract would stay the same for its entire duration, the shop assistant replied, "Everything will stay exactly the same the whole two years. It's fully guaranteed."

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said, "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. 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."

In July Which? also revealed that mobile phone operators could be raking-in up to £90m a year by silently increasing the costs of their fixed price tariffs and launched a ‘Fixed means Fixed' campaign on its web site. µ


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