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Campaigns | Unlock mobile phones

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Ofcom to review broadband, mobile and landline markets

12th March

Ofcom has announced an overarching review of the UK’s digital communication markets to ensure they’re meeting the needs of consumers.

The review will cover the broadband, mobile and landline markets – essential services with low levels of consumer trust and satisfaction. Even the banks are trusted more than mobile phone providers, for example.

With three quarters of people on the wrong mobile contract and nearly half unhappy with their broadband speed, it’s the right time for change.

A better deal for consumers

Our executive director, Richard Lloyd, comments:

‘The telecoms market is changing rapidly so it’s right for Ofcom to review whether it’s working for consumers, especially at a time when high profile mergers could result in less competition.’

More than 55,000 of you have supported our campaign to unlock better mobile deals. Your actions have helped show Ofcom that it’s time to review this essential market. The regulator must now set out how it will deliver a better deal for consumers.


Win! EE cuts mobile unlocking fees

27th February

Victory for mobile unlocking in the US - what about in the UK?

All mobile operators in the US now have to unlock mobile phones and tablets at the end of your contract. In the UK, we want providers to follow the US’s lead and make switching easier by unlocking handsets automatically for free.

Mobile users should not foot bill for fraud

We're calling on Britain's biggest mobile phone operators to play fair with their customers one year after they promised to protect people facing massive bills if their phone is lost or stolen.

Major mobile phone companies agreed with the Government in December 2013 to introduce a liability limit to protect customers from excessive costs if their phone was used fraudulently when it was lost or stolen.

However, more than a year later, Vodafone, O2, EE and Virgin have failed to implement a limit. While Three's customer liability is capped, customers will still have to pay the first £100 if the loss or theft is reported within 24 hours.

Consumers need protection from fraud

We found that a third of people with a mobile phone contract would find it difficult to cope with an unexpected expense of £100, and six in 10 think they should not have to pay any of the costs incurred from fraudulent use when their phone is lost or stolen.

Our executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

'People should not have to foot the bill if criminals run up expensive charges when their phone is lost or stolen. Mobile firms agreed to introduce a limit on excessive costs over a year ago but have still not implemented safeguards that really protect their customers.

Enough time to report loss or theft

We think mobile firms need to give customers 48 hours to report a lost or stolen phone. Our research found that a quarter of people said they have accidentally left their phone somewhere for a whole day or overnight in the last two years. 

Which? Conversation user Mike was faced with a huge bill:

'My phone was stolen abroad earlier this year and despite being locked, the Sim was used to rack up over £2,000 in a few hours before I could report it stolen.'

Richard Lloyd added:

'Consumers are already losing out to the tune of more than £5bn by not being on the best mobile deals. With people fast losing trust in mobile operators, it's time for the industry to keep its promise and ensure that no one is faced with more unfair cost through no fault of their own.'


New protections against mobile phone bill shock

New proposals from the Government will protect consumers from huge bills run up on stolen mobiles.


Have you bartered for a better mobile deal?

When your mobile phone starts to slow down and it generally begins to look a bit tired, you may be looking to upgrade to a new handset. But how do you make sure you’re getting the best out of your upgrade?

Is it too difficult to unlock mobile phones?

A recent YouGov survey for mobile operator Giffgaff finds that almost a third of mobile users aren’t sure if liberating your handset (from the network it’s initially locked to) is legal.
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