UK Government looking to cap bills for stolen phones

Stolen phone chargesIt’s bad enough to have your phone stolen but then to be lumbered with sky-high bills after the thief has decided to call their overseas family and friends is more than unfair. Thankfully there are plans to combat this.

EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have all agreed with the government to impose a maximum limit on what customers would be expected to pay when their phone is stolen.

It is thought that the cap will be set at a similar level to the £50 cap on stolen credit and debit cards. The cap will be introduced from spring 2014.

The four firms have also agreed to tell customers of mid-contract price rises. More importantly, they will offer customers the opportunity to break off the contract without penalty.

While it has not been clarified, it is expected that customers will still need to pay off the remainder of the cost of their phone if it was subsidised through the contract. That’s kinda fair enough I guess.

Announcing the deal, Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, said “Families can be left struggling if carefully planned budgets are blown away by unexpected bills from a stolen mobile or a mid-contract price rise.” Miller went on to state “This agreement with the telecoms companies will deliver real benefits to consumers and help ensure people are not hit with shock bills.”

With many of us facing strict budgets as we watch the price of practically everything go up, this is fairly positive news.

Speaking to the BBC, Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson said “The last thing you need after the hassle of a stolen mobile is to find that someone has used it and landed you with a sky-high bill too” and that “Phone companies have listened to government and to their customers and I welcome their agreement to protect them from unexpected costs.”

This can only be a good thing right?

What do you think?

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