Have you heard about the latest news regarding mobile billing?

The long…ish, lazy days of summer are finally behind us. We thought it was perhaps time to take a second look at a little piece of legislation that you might have missed between barbecues, summer holidays, and efforts to outwit the weather. If you’re likely to be changing your mobile phone contract in the next year, we’d recommend paying attention. Mobile phone providers take note too; this is something you’re going to need to know…

So, what do we need to know?

Announced in April, the Digital Economy Act 2017 is a new piece of legislation designed to empower consumers, reinforce infrastructure for a better, more profitable future, and enable public services to use digital technologies to their advantage. It is, put simply, an act that enables consumers and businesses to make the most of the digital world whilst protecting their own interests.

On 17th July 2017 the government announced the enforcement of section 102 of the Digital Economy Act 2017; that is, that clauses 124S and 124T of this particular piece of legislation would finally come into force on 1st October 2018. The relevant sections of legislation can be viewed quite easily on the government’s website, here. However, we’d like to take a moment to share the most important details pertaining to sections 124S and 124T with you. According to 124S…

… The provider of a mobile phone service must not enter into a contract to provide the service unless the customer has been given an opportunity to specify a billing limit in the contract…

This means that all new mobile phone customers must be given the opportunity to place a limit, or cap, on the amount they’re willing and able to spend during every given period – for as long as they’re under contract. Mobile phone providers will no longer be able to charge customers for exceeding their data, texts, or calls, but must instead provide a warning when limits are likely to be reached. It will then be up to individual customers to amend, or extend their limits based upon their usage.

Section 124S requires all providers to give very new customer the ability to cap his or her bill, and to seek clarification and permission from customers before establishing a contract, or agreeing an extension once that limit has been reached. Perhaps most importantly for forgetful consumers, any fees or penalties applied to a bill without their knowledge or consent may be written off; they will not be held liable for any charges that were applied without prior arrangement.

So, what does this mean?

If you’re a mobile phone provider the implications of this enforceable legislation are clear; failure to comply is likely to lead to hefty fines, with penalties proportionate to the misdemeanour committed. The outcome for consumers is far more agreeable; the enforcement of the act should lead to more transparent billing, the ability to control data usage, and an opportunity to save money. If you’ve ever been penalised for exceeding your mobile phone’s tariff, this announcement is likely to bring good news indeed.

Here at Voxcloud we’re committed to transparent billing; our customers will only ever be billed for the services they use. What’s more, we’ll tailor each package to individual businesses, so you can be assured that you’re getting the services to meet your needs. If you’d like to find out more about how Voxcloud can help your business, please do get in touch.