Labour: Phone bills cap should not be voluntary

Labour criticised the Government's new measures to cap mobile phone bills for victims of handset theft as "not strong enough protection" for consumers, because it relies on voluntary participation from phone companies.

Read: What phone users can expect from 'shock' bills cap

By relying on a voluntary approach they are not giving strong enough protection to consumers, who too often face phone rip-offs.

Labour has clear plans that the Government should implement now.

Caps on charges run up on stolen phones should be fixed at £50.The companies should also be required to give people warnings when reaching limits on texts and phone call and concrete steps should be taken on the recycling of handsets.

– Helen Goodman, Labour’s Shadow Communications Minister

The measures, set to be introduced next spring, include a break-off clause if call prices rise mid-contract, but Ms Goodman said this will "fail" most people with phone contracts.

"Existing fixed contracts should be fixed – introducing ‘fixed means fixed’ from January will fail most mobile users."

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Bills cap for phone theft victims

Mobile phone users whose handsets are stolen will no longer be hit with "shock bills" when a new cap on the maximum value of calls they will be expected to pay for comes into force next spring under an agreement between ministers and four operators.