Cash: Personal finance: As soon as I signed a two-year contract, the price went up
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Before signing up to a new mobile phone contract I did a lot of research on comparison websites. I chose
O2 and signed-up on 19 February for a two-year contract at pounds 26 a month. Two days after receiving the handset a confirmation email mentioned that tariffs would rise by 3.2% on 28 February. I might have chosen a different provider if I had known the true cost.
Companies are allowed to hike prices during a contract, but have to give at least one month's notice of "modifications likely to be of material detriment" or to make customers aware of any pending price changes at point of sale.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom's consumer group director, says: "Many consumers have complained that they are not made aware of the potential for price rises in what they believe to be fixed contracts and we have been consulting on rules to give them a fair deal." Meanwhile, O2 has listened to your sales call and realised its staff forgot to mention the imminent price rise. It's crediting you with pounds 19.97, the cost of the increase over your contract.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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