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Mobile phone firms to cap charges on stolen devices


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Mobile phone users will be protected from massive bills when their devices are stolen after five operators agreed to introduce a £100 "liability cap".

 

EE, O2, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have signed up to the measure.

 

Some customers have faced charges of thousands of pounds because of usage by thieves. The cap will be activated when a phone is reported lost or stolen within 24 hours of going missing.

 

The government said it had secured a deal with "real benefits".

 

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) said the measures would bring "much-needed relief" to consumers targeted by phone fraudsters.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32005851

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This really is a good deal for phone owners. Why should the phone companies foot the bill for something they know nothing about.

If the phone is reported lost and a crime number issued the phone company should immediately block the phone and if they don't then they should be liable for any further use.

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This really is a good deal for phone owners. Why should the phone companies foot the bill for something they know nothing about.

If the phone is reported lost and a crime number issued the phone company should immediately block the phone and if they don't then they should be liable for any further use.

 

The limit is set at £100 in 24 hours - hardly typical use for most of us!

 

If I suddenly spent a hundred times as much as normal on my credit card, buying from places I've never been before, I'd expect my credit card company to put a hold on transactions and verify in case there's something wrong, why can't phone companies?

 

For that matter, I'd like a much, much lower spending cap: if I rack up £5, let alone £100, in a single day, something has gone wrong. I would like to stop premium rate numbers and text "short codes" working on my account entirely: anything beyond the standard calls, data and texts included in my contract should be blocked, even without the handset being stolen. If my mobile network offered that, they would have nothing at all to lose if my handset's stolen!

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I would like to stop premium rate numbers and text "short codes" working on my account entirely: anything beyond the standard calls, data and texts included in my contract should be blocked, even without the handset being stolen. If my mobile network offered that, they would have nothing at all to lose if my handset's stolen!

 

That's like asking the banks to stop payments going past £0. So you cannot rack up any fees.

 

So it's not gonna happen. Mobile companies still get a £100 windfall and eat up costs after that. They probably calculated risk vs profit in a 24 hour period from theft.

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That's like asking the banks to stop payments going past £0. So you cannot rack up any fees.

 

Not really - premium rate calls are hardly normal usage. For that matter, my bank does offer non-payment cards (which can only be used for cash machine withdrawals, not debit card purchases) - and the networks do allow disabling premium rate services on some but not all plans right now. Remember, they already have a mechanism in place to stop or filter spending in realtime (the basis of every PAYG service) - they just don't make extra profit by using that for customers' benefit.

 

Mobile companies still get a £100 windfall and eat up costs after that.

 

No windfall: to rack up £100 in 24 hours means premium rate or international calls, where nearly all the money is just passed through the mobile network to the recipient's telco. It wouldn't have to go far over the £100 mark for the extra amount to wipe out their cut of the first £100.

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