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Consumer revenge: Ofcom cutting out dodgy contracts

Anger is an emotion we can all identify with. Stubbing your toe on the edge of the sofa, dropping and smashing your favourite mug, being forced to wander around IKEA by a loved one. These are all gut wrenching irritants that make up the rich tapestry of life. But getting ripped off on your mobile phone contract can make you literally howl with rage and pound the walls with fury. According to the BBC, Ofcom has finally decided to step in and end the practices of some unscrupulous resellers who will tell you anything to get their hands on your money.

These dastardly firms now face simpler rules which could lead to them being fined a massive 10% of their turnover of they are found guilty of mis-selling. The move comes after a voluntary code of conduct for the industry failed to reduce customer complaint numbers.

Various deals will now fall under the Ofcom microscope. The main headline grabber is obviously cashback offers. A cashback offer is where a customer buys a handset upfront and they are then refunded the cash over the course of the contract. With Ofcom sniffing around, these deals should get a lot easier to understand for customers and should prevent people from getting sold a deal they don’t want.

Ofcom is demanding that companies offer clear and accurate information at the point of sale, when the customer signs up for the contract. Other complaints from consumers that Ofcom is now looking at include customers being signed up to a more expensive tariff than they agreed. Customers have also found themselves in deals where they signed up to a deal with the assurance that they would have good signal coverage in their area, only to find that was not the case.

It’s about time that Ofcom took its gloves off and knocked these companies into shape, giving them a swift kick in the profit margins. For too long the watchdog has stood by, not willing to mix it with the industry. But this move should hopefully put an end to dodgy deals from companies with dubious ethics.

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