Three Accused of Ripping Off Customers by Avoiding End-of-Contract Switching

By Gary Cutlack on at

Mobile network Three is the only one of the main mobile players that has not committed to automatically putting customers on lower tariffs when their initial deals end, leading to accusations that it's ripping off those loyal to its masts and services.

The other networks won the praise of regulator Ofcom then they said they would stop leaving people paying £42 a month or whatever once their lovely-new-phone subsidy ends, and begin switching everyone to lower tariffs once the usual 24-month contract is up. They haven't done it yet, mind, but they have said they will. Soon. Almost certainly.

But Three is almost certainly not going to join in, as it says that applying an "arbitrary discount" once a contracted period ends is, somehow, not in the best interests of customers. This is equivalent to ripping people off, says Citizens Advice, which says subscribers might end up overpaying the network to the combined tune of £1m a month for phones already legally paid off.

Citizens Advice chief exec Gillian Guy said: "It's unacceptable that Three still thinks it can penalise its loyal customers by over a million pounds every month. It cannot continue to bury its head in the sand. We're pleased other mobile providers have said they're going to act, but they must now follow through on their promises and put them into effect by early next year." [ITV News]