Belfast Telegraph

Mobile networks agree £100 cap for bills on stolen phones

EE, O2, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have signed up to a measure to protect mobile phone users from massive bills when their devices are stolen

The measure, which has the agreement of the Government and the five major networks, will offer protection to 27 million consumers who will pay a maximum of £100 – but only if they report the theft within 24 hours.

Some 300,000 mobiles are stolen every year. The consumer group Which? said the plan did not go far enough and called for customers to be charged nothing if their phone is stolen.

Announcing the new agreement, Digital minister Ed Vaizey said: “By working with the mobile operators, we have secured an agreement that will provide consumers with real benefits as well as offer peace of mind.”

The networks signed up to the agreement – which is voluntary – are EE, O2, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone, and it applies only to pay-monthly contracts. Three had already introduced the £100 cap in January, while EE will implement it in the next few weeks. Virgin and Vodafone will follow in July, and O2 by September.

Citizens Advice Bureau chief executive Gillian Guy said: "Victims of phone crime should not be paying excessive bills run up by thieves.

"A cap on bills from stolen mobile phones will come as much-needed relief to consumers targeted by phone fraudsters.

"We will be keeping a close eye on the phone providers' caps to see if they do really protect phone crime victims from the worst bills."

Belfast Telegraph Digital