Leading UK Consumer Charity ‘The Citizens Advice Bureau’ has labelled Mobile Phone Firms as the worst for private sector Debt Collection.
The charity has been conducting lengthy investigations and compiling data to produce their ‘Falling Behind’ report that concludes companies “sometimes play a significant role in people getting into mobile phone debt”. Their findings are based upon the analysis of over 26,000 debt cases from 2015 where the total debt value was in excess of £11 million pounds.
The report found that in many instances, mobile phone service providers were not making proper assessments of whether the customer could actually afford the contract at outset. There were also many examples of individuals taking out multiple phone contracts despite already being heavily in debt.
One clear example of this was one member of the public who had amassed over £3,000 worth of debt spread over six different mobile phone agreements.
In addition to the rolling monthly fee for line rental and calls, the charity found that many mobile users where paying additional sums for ‘extras’ on top of their standard contracted fees for things such as app purchases, calling premium rate numbers and texting charity donations or competitions.
The CAB has suggested that there should be a far easier way for consumers to cap their monthly phone spend such as is the case with credit cards etc where the spend is based upon the users ability to pay and takes into consideration their credit ratings and other external factors.
The Chief Executive of the CAB Gillian Guy gave a statement saying “Our evidence shows companies often don’t set affordable debt repayment plans, escalate debts too quickly and fail to co-operate with debt advisers”
“Other sectors that deal with essential services have improved how they handle debts in recent years so mobile phone firms have no excuse for dragging their heels”