Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Customers call for further clarification from mobile phone operators

The last 12 months has seen a change in how mobile phone operators provide their data download usage services. It had previously been the case that unlimited data usage meant unlimited.

However, changes by operators earlier in the year meant that unlimited actually meant that customers had a cap on their data usage, e.g. 500MB or 1GB, and that customers would be charged for going over this limit. As reported in the Guardian, these changes have come about due to operators not having the capacity on their networks to support the ever-growing high data usage by customers. This lead to an increase in complaints to Ofcom earlier this year in relation to unexpected charges on bills, and a call for more clarity and transparency in data download limits and charges.

Such complaints have led to calls for changes to be made. Consequently, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has stated that operators can continue to use the word ‘umlimited’ in their advertising, as long as customers are made aware of download limits. However, others have seen this statement as unclear. As reported on the BBC recently, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith has stated the need for further clarification from advertisements on data limits and for customers to be given updates on their own data usage, e.g. notifications when they have almost reached their data cap.

Have you had any bad experiences with high charges or unexpected bill amounts? If so, let us know about them. Plum always aim to be transparent and clear when providing customers details of their data tariffs and usage. Where customers are looking to save money on their mobile data usage, Plum can offer an analysis of expenditure, check that customer has the correct tariff and recommend savings. In addition Plum can provide tariffs with all networks.

Please visit the following news articles for further information:

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