The UK’s biggest mobile carriers have outlined what they plan to do from next February to help customers reduce their post-contract mobile bills. Almost all of the major carriers have responded to Ofcom’s plans positively; however, Three is currently refusing to take part in the scheme claiming the plans could cause market stagnation.
Each of the providers that are taking part in the scheme has a slightly different implementation method, they are as follows:
- Virgin Mobile will move its out-of-contract customers to the equivalent 30-day SIM-only deal.
- Tesco Mobile will reduce the monthly charges of out-of-contract customers who are overpaying to the best available airtime tariff.
- O2 will reduce the monthly price of its out-of-contract customers to the equivalent 30-day SIM-only deal. This will apply to its direct customers only, but O2 will discuss options for customers who take out O2 contracts with third-party retailers.
- Vodafone and EE will reduce their prices for customers who are out of contract for more than three months. Both companies will confirm before the end of the year how much this discount will be. We [Ofcom] expect their discount to take into account the level of savings available if customers switched to a comparable SIM-only tariff.
Regarding Three’s position, Ofcom said that it is disappointed by the company’s stance on the matter but, ultimately, customers of the firm will continue to overpay until they decide to switch products themselves. According to Ofcom’s findings, compared to other providers, Three charges those out-of-contract customers significantly more than the average price, making the company’s decision not to join in with the initiative all the more damaging for customers.
Overall, the measures introduced by Ofcom today will affect 1.4 million customers who are out-of-contract and would save it they switched to a SIM-only deal. The regulator said that these customers are shelling out £182 million per year so switching them to a cheaper tariff could result in considerable savings.
Via: BBC News