Ofcom's looking into ways of stopping controversial mid-contract mobile price rises, with one option being to separate charges the networks are responsible for from ones outside of their control. This, says Vodafone, could mean non-stop SMS spam every time a sex chat line ups its fees.
Vodafone's complaint is the way that Ofcom's proposal wording seems to require networks to inform users every time a third-party raises its costs, with the network saying the change "would require communications providers to 'spam' notify every customer of every change to the price of any service."
So if some niche overseas calling company adds 1p to the cost of calling Costa Rica, you get a message about it. And if Sexy Grandmas LIVE ups its connection fee from £5 to £7, you get a message about it. This, says Vodafone, could lead to kids on PAYG contracts being politely informed that the cost of sex chat services have gone up. Which will cause even more fuss than finding there's an extra quid added to you bill this month.
Ofcom's not exactly in agreement with Vodafone's prognosis, however. A spokesman said: "Ofcom’s plans are not for consumers to receive age inappropriate or large amounts of text messages. Our proposals are aimed at ensuring consumers are better protected from mid-contract price rises. The consultation has only recently closed, and we will consider all responses before publishing our decision this summer." [Guardian]