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Campaigns | Unlock mobile phones

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Queen’s Speech delivers a win for our Unlock Mobiles campaign

23rd March

The Queen’s Speech today announced a plan to make switching mobile phone providers easier.

The Queen today delivered her 65th speech to parliament, where she set out the government’s legislative plans, including 20 Bills.

One of these is the Digital Economy Bill, which includes a win for our Unlock Mobiles campaign.

Easier mobile switching

Earlier this year Ofcom proposed to make switching easier, including a proposal for ‘gaining provider-led’ switching. This simply means that the responsibility of the switch is entirely in the hands of your new provider. Just like when switching bank or energy supplier, you won’t need to contact your existing provider to swap mobile providers.

This is something we’ve been campaigning for over the years, with the backing of more than 75,000 supporters. And now the government has included exactly this in its Digital Economy Bill, as announced in the Queen’s Speech today.

Thank you to all of our supporters for helping make this happen. We now need to see this change come into effect as soon as possible.


Win! EE to drop all unlocking fees

EE has announced that it will be dropping all fees to unlock mobile phones.


Win! Mobile handset unlocking success

Automatic unlocking of customers’ handsets at the end of their contracts will be an expectation of mobile firms, the Government has announced today.

This announcement comes as part of the Government's Better Deal plan, setting out steps to increase competition and improve living standards. The Government will consult in 2016 on ending the practice of mobile handset locking for customers outside of any initial contract period.

Consumers face costs of up to £20 to unlock their phones, with an estimated £48 million spent every year. As part of our campaign to Unlock Better Mobile Deals, we’ve been calling for providers to unlock handsets for free.

Commenting on today’s announcement, our executive director, Richard Lloyd said:

‘Hidden charges, confusing contracts, and complicated switching are still too common in markets we all rely on. By making it easier for consumers to save time and money, these reforms are good for people, businesses and growth in the economy.’


Vodafone, EE and Three respond

Yesterday we revealed that mobile customers are collectively overpaying by £355m a year for handsets they’ve already paid for. Read how the main offenders - Vodafone, EE and Three - responded to our call for action.

New cap for lost or stolen phones falls short

The Government has announced a new voluntary agreement with five major mobile operators to tackle shock phone bills.


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.

New protections against mobile phone bill shock

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

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