Mike Phillips, CEO of Sure in the Isle of Man, has responded to Manx Telecom’s recent statement on the impending Ofcom changes.
Mr Phillips said: “Manx Telecom is ignoring the fact that it continues to overcharge customers for their handsets even after the handsets have been paid off.
“Ofcom’s proposed changes are to protect customers who can often stay on the same deals for longer than necessary and end up still paying for their handset without realising it. MT has been routinely taking its customers for granted in this way; extracting unwarranted charges from them through this ‘sharp practice’.
“Sure strives to provide a better, fair and honest experience to our customers, not charging them for their phone when it is paid off and protecting them with no out-of-bundle data charges on island and bill shock prevention when roaming.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
“New rules proposed by Ofcom will mean that telecoms providers must notify customers when their contracts are coming to an end, something that both operators currently do and Sure has never disputed."
“Ofcom’s research has clearly shown that many people are unsure what happens at the end of their mobile contract, findings mirrored by our own survey which found that 50% of Isle of Man mobile phone customers we asked don’t know what happens at the end of their mobile contract."
“At Sure we’re committed to being fair which is why we go a step further and automatically stop charging our pay monthly mobile customers for their handsets once their contracts end."
“We would once again urge MT and the Communications Commission to recognise that the practice of charging customers for handsets after the expiry of a contract is unfair to the consumer.”
The research was carried out on the Sure Customer Panel and an independent research agency from 9-14 May. 230 responses were received – 110 from Sure and 120 from Manx Telecom. All participants had a monthly mobile contract and all were located in the Isle of Man. 95% confidence level and a 6% margin of error.
Please see the below example comparison between Sure and MT of monthly mobile charges for a 24 month contract and then after the contract has expired (months 25 onwards).
Monthly Charge Months 1-24
|Minimum Charge||Monthly Charge Months|
|Sure Large Plan||£0||£58||£1392||£28|
|MT Smartroam 50GB||£79||£55||£1399||£55|
|If you get overcharged by MT for just 4 months||£108|
It is impossible to run up unexpected on island data bills on our new Pay Monthly plans, customers on older plans cannot be charged more than £20, unless specifically requested.
Citizens Advice called for intervention from the regulator, Ofcom, to stop what it labelled a ‘sharp practice’:
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