Mobile ‘bill shock’ will be a thing of the past come the 1st of October 2018 with the Mobile Bill Limits Regulation. The government has stepped in with it’s Digital Economy Bill to prevent mobile phone users from racking up unexpected and unaffordable mobile phone debt by making it possible for these customers to set spending caps on their accounts.
Operators will work with their customers to put a cap on all pay monthly contracts and they will notify their customers when they are nearing their set limits. Officially, this change is just for people who are taking out mobile phone contracts after the 1st October or renewing their contracts after this date. Operators may extend this policy to those who have existing contracts with them. These limits are flexible, in that the customer can always make amendments to these thresholds. Operators that bill for services which are over and above the agreed limit, will legally not be allowed to request payment for these services unless customers have been previously consented to this extra spend.
This is quite a radical change within the industry, and although previously networks and MVNOs have offered similar services, these were optional and not as robust as what is now being imposed. Mobile phone usage budgets in the past was always the responsibility of the consumer rather than relying solely on operators.
This overspending, and consequent ‘bill shock’ seems to be a ubiquitous problem, with 1 in 10 mobile users having reported they were worried that they weren’t able to pay for their mobile phone over the next year according to Citizens Advice research conducted in 2017. Citizens Advice helps a staggering 40,000 people a year who have accrued mobile phone debt which can total up to £11m a year in the UK. Offering a tool to cap mobile phone expenditure is a way to put this right and put pressure on the operators to limit this increasing debt across the country.
Talking about these developments and the changes that will inevitably occur in October when the Mobile Bill Limits come into play, Tim Sayer, Head of Business Development at Strategic Imperatives said “Elevate is an innately flexible solution – which we can mould effortlessly. When new rules and regulations are rolled out Elevate will meet the requirements with ease.”
If you would like to know more about Elevate billing or the Mobile Bill Limits implementation in section 124S of the Communications Act 2003 – please contact us at (+44) 333 800 4800.