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Mobile phone service providers will have a duty to allow customers to have billing limits on their contracts

Published on 04 July 2018

By 1 October 2018 any retailers that offer mobile phone services as a part of their business will have to allow customers the opportunity to put in place billing limits to their contracts for each relevant period. These limits cannot be exceeded without customers’ consent.

Why does it matter?

After 1 October 2018 no mobile phone contracts can be entered into without giving customers the opportunity to put limits in place.

Should a provider keep providing the service even after a limit has been reached, any excess use by customers will not constitute agreement to extend the limit.

Ofcom can levy a penalty of up to £2 million for contravention of this provision. This is determined based on the appropriateness and proportionality of the penalty to the contravention.

What action should you take?

  1. Allow new customers to specify a billing limit, if desired.

  2. Give notice to any current customers to specify a billing limit, or to amend or remove an existing limit.

  3. Notify customers with a billing limit, so far as practicable, in reasonable time, if the limit is likely to be reached before the end of the period.

  4. Ensure that customers have clearly agreed to any increase to billing limits after  notification of almost reaching a limit.

  5. Consider ceasing service provision when a limit has been reached and no clear agreement has been given to increase the limit to ensure that services are not being provided for free.

Any agreed billing limits, decisions to amend or remove any billing limits, or decisions made to extend the billing limit by the customer must be communicated to them in writing.

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