Operators not safeguarding customers from debt, claims Citizens Advice

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The accusations made by the charity come from 26,000 cases of mobile debt from last year

UK operators have been accused by Citizens Advice for not using necessary safeguards to prevent customers from falling into serious financial debt.

The independent charity, which provides advice on debt, documented its findings in its ‘Falling Behind’ report. It analysed 26,000 cases of mobile phone contract debts last year and claimed providers didn’t properly assess if customers could afford a contract. Citizens Advice also said individuals were allowed to take out various phone contracts despite already being in debt.

One case was cited where an individual hit £3,000 worth of debt across six different phone contracts. He had been allowed to take out each contract, despite already being in financial trouble. Some customers also amassed thousands of pounds in debt from extras not covered by the provider, including app purchases, charity donations or calls to premium rate lines.

The report recommended mobile phone providers should allow customers to set their own monthly spending caps, similar to those available for credit card users.

Mobile News has contacted the networks for comment.

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