After it warned the mobile industry last year that mandatory regulation could be on the way if it didn’t clean up its act, Ofcom is hoping to introduce new rules to clamp down on mobile misselling. The mobile watchdog said it was pressed to do so after “some mobile phone companies and third party sales agents are still engaging in unacceptable practices that are against the consumer interest” and receiving around 700 complaints a month.
The regulator is particularly riled about two practices: where customers are given false or inaccurate information when they want to buy a mobile contract; and some “cash backÃ¢â‚¬Â promotions offered by sales agents where they fail to reimburse the consumer.
If the rules are adopted, it will mean mobile operators will be bound:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ not to engage in dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct and to ensure that those selling their products and services similarly do not mis-sell;
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ to make sure the customer intends and is authorised to enter into a contract;
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ to make sure consumers get the information they need at the point of sale;
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ to ensure that the terms and conditions of cash back deals offered by their retailers are fair; and
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ to carry out due diligence and a number of checks in respect of their retailers.
Anything that adds to consumer protection and confidence in the mobile industry can only be a good thing. Applause for Ofcom.