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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 15th Aug 12, 9:05 AM
    • 1,628Posts
    • 1,255Thanks
    MSE Guy
    MSE News: Phone stores 'misleading' on prices
    • #1
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:05 AM
    MSE News: Phone stores 'misleading' on prices 15th Aug 12 at 9:05 AM
    "The majority of mobile stores fail to explain possible price rises, a study says ..."

Page 1
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 15th Aug 12, 9:33 AM
    • 51,706 Posts
    • 21,931 Thanks
    grumbler
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:33 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:33 AM
    "Fixed Means Fixed" campaign ?
    Other campaigns to launch:

    "Unlimited Means Unlimited"
    "12 Month Contract Means 12 Month Contract" (not open-ended with 12 month minimum term).

    Or maybe
    "It Has To Be What It Says On The Tin"?
    "God Save Queen's English" - it's under threat from mobile operators?
    Last edited by grumbler; 15-08-2012 at 9:44 AM.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • KTF
    • By KTF 15th Aug 12, 9:40 AM
    • 4,725 Posts
    • 1,939 Thanks
    KTF
    • #3
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:40 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:40 AM
    What about a 'read the small print before you sign up' campaign as well.
    • giraffe69
    • By giraffe69 15th Aug 12, 9:50 AM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 2,298 Thanks
    giraffe69
    • #4
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:50 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Aug 12, 9:50 AM
    What about a 'read the small print before you sign up' campaign as well.
    That's all very well and people should make themselves aware of basic terms before they commit but it is quite common for the terms and conditions to be many pages long and in about 2 point font size and that is not reasonable especially for those firms who hide unfair conditions deep on page 8.
    • premierfella
    • By premierfella 15th Aug 12, 10:13 AM
    • 863 Posts
    • 475 Thanks
    premierfella
    • #5
    • 15th Aug 12, 10:13 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Aug 12, 10:13 AM
    Small print is all very well, but shops are being allowed to mislead customers in their sales pitch, which is totally unacceptable.

    The results from the Which? exercise are hardly a surprise - either sales staff are deliberately misleading customers to get their commission, or they (like many customers) also believe that a published tariff price with a fixed term means that the price of the contract is fixed for the term.

    This really isn't rocket science and the relevant watchdog/regulator should pull their finger out. All that really needs to happen to clean this up is either for mobile networks to be required to hold the initial monthly price plan cost for the fixed period (unlikely), or for the fact that the monthly price can be increased during the fixed period to be made much clearer to customers (i.e. written in a clear, readable form in every sales brochure, advert, window display, etc where a monthly tariff is quoted). The only reason for NOT doing so is surely because the retailers know that a small minority of customers will choose not to take up the profitable fixed term monthly contracts and will instead opt for the alternatives (rolling contract, pay as you go) which I assume earn the shops considerably less commission?
  • buscape
    • #6
    • 15th Aug 12, 11:43 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Aug 12, 11:43 AM
    Most people can't be arsed to read the terms and conditions, they should have something like a key facts sheets so people can see the important information.
    • Awol
    • By Awol 15th Aug 12, 12:58 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Awol
    • #7
    • 15th Aug 12, 12:58 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Aug 12, 12:58 PM
    I worked in the mobile phone industry for 8 years, in my final year Orange (my employer at the time) increased the prices of line rental for people in the current term of their contract.

    Even the staff were unaware that this could happen, our manager claimed he was oblivious to the fact that this could happen and it was not mentioned in any of our training. I subsequently tried to find the clause in the T&Cs in the contract that customers sign with no success.

    I feel that the sales advisers are portrayed as deliberately misleading customers when in fact it is a training issue, the companies do not invest the time in their staff. It is not unusual for new starts to be plonked on the sales floor on their first day on the job.
  • lightwave
    • #8
    • 15th Aug 12, 1:22 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Aug 12, 1:22 PM
    I've been affected by the Three price rise. What I find unjustifiable, is that the same contract for new customers is actually 1 per month cheaper than what I signed up to.

    So quite how they can put the price DOWN for new customers, and UP for existing customers - mid-contract, on the basis of inflation - I don't quite understand.

    On the topic of this being (un)fair or (un)expected, while I didn't read a word of the T&Cs, I do fully expect ALL companies T&Cs to include a clause that basically says they can change what they like when they like. It's a normal contract clause. So I'm not at all surprised this is the case, however I do think it's very unfair on consumers and that the information is not clear or explained up front.

    In fact, the information is misleading on three counts; first, that it appears as though it's a fixed price, when it isn't. Second, that employees don't know these terms, so they mis-sell contracts, and third that it's not possible to move or cancel without a penalty.

    Where's that campaign?

    EDIT: You can use the link above the pledge your support to the Which? Fixed Means Fixed campaign. I have.
    -Al,
    [Save on!]
    • Guys Dad
    • By Guys Dad 15th Aug 12, 3:18 PM
    • 10,831 Posts
    • 10,290 Thanks
    Guys Dad
    • #9
    • 15th Aug 12, 3:18 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Aug 12, 3:18 PM
    What about a 'read the small print before you sign up' campaign as well.
    Originally posted by KTF
    That's all very well but it should run in parallel with the "If you don't like our t&c that lets us raise contract prices mid term, then try and find a network who doesn't have similar t&c " campaign.

    The idea that a fixed price contract should mean fixed price for the initial period is right and proper. It does NOT, however, mean that the networks raising their prices last year was in any way illegal as their CURRENT t&c allows for that.

    The sooner that there is more above board clarity the better.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 15th Aug 12, 3:54 PM
    • 51,706 Posts
    • 21,931 Thanks
    grumbler
    What about a 'read the small print before you sign up' campaign as well.
    Originally posted by KTF
    Do you mean that it is OK to use whatever words they want in their sails pitch, and then redefine/pervert the common meaning of these words in the T&C? How far can this go?

    I think anyone in business has to be disallowed to redefine such unambiguous words like 'fixed' and 'unlimited'. If the true meaning of such words doesn't fit their needs, they have to find some other, more vague terms, that do need clarification in the T&C.
    Last edited by grumbler; 15-08-2012 at 3:57 PM.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • Guys Dad
    • By Guys Dad 15th Aug 12, 4:14 PM
    • 10,831 Posts
    • 10,290 Thanks
    Guys Dad

    I think anyone in business has to be disallowed to redefine such unambiguous words like 'fixed' and 'unlimited'. If the true meaning of such words doesn't fit their needs, they have to find some other, more vague terms, that do need clarification in the T&C.
    Originally posted by grumbler
    I am with you on the use of "unlimited" and I could never see why the regulator allowed a different meaning of the dictionary definition to apply to data, but I don't recall seeing the networks ever using the word "fixed" in any of their literature - although I could be wrong.

    If 3rd parties use that word when selling 24 month contracts, then it is they who are in the wrong. ( I am not sufficiently clued up on the legal splits between network shops and the actual mobile service company.)
    • rinabean
    • By rinabean 15th Aug 12, 7:42 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 1,040 Thanks
    rinabean
    What about a 'read the small print before you sign up' campaign as well.
    Originally posted by KTF
    The small print should clarify the terms in the advert/sales pitch, not completely change them. If you think you're signing up to a fixed rate contract, most aren't going to check how the contract says the price can/will vary.

    If the adverts said, for example, "20 a month (first 3 months, variable thereafter, see t&c)" or similar, I'd agree with you. But they don't - they just say "20 a month". That's misleading.
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