Regulator dials in to mobile cost crackdown

The telecoms regulator has outlined plans to prevent mobile phone users being charged for handsets they have already paid off.
Ofcom said it was to consult on a series of options aimed at ensuring charges are fair and clear.
It follows pressure from consumer groups for action to be taken to stop customers being ripped off.A report by Citizens Advice a week ago claimed four million people on deals with EE, Three and Vodafone had paid an extra €490m for phones after their contracts had ended.Ofcom said providers could be forced to automatically move customers to cheaper SIM-only plans once they reach the minimum term of a contract which includes a handset.It concluded 1.5 million people were still being wrongly charged for phones they had already paid for and described a lack of transparency as "unacceptable".Another option, it said, was for customers to be given a clear breakdown of charges ahead of any sale - a move that the industry has previously signalled it would support.Ofcom consumer group director Lindsey Fussell said: "Mobile customers should get the best possible deal."We're concerned that people are not told, or cannot tell, exactly what they are paying for.
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