Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Five mobile rip off stories that will make you really mad

This year’s World Consumer Rights Day is about holding mobile companies to account amid the seemingly endless stories of consumers being ripped off, locked in and given the run around by companies with poor customer service.
CI Digital Editor Vik Iyer has searched the Internet and found some truly shocking mobile rip off stories – thus proving the urgency of the WCRD Fix Our Phone Rights! campaign.

One of our Slovenian Members, Zveza Potrošnikov Slovenije, has detailed how consumers can be tricked into joining ‘text clubs’ , which charge for receiving messages. In Ireland, a newspaper investigation found more than 10,000 people had been duped in similar scams, with one person tricked into owing 200 euros (278 USD).

Contracts are another source of complaint – with hidden charges and dodgy sales practices leaving consumers short changed by billions. Yes that’s right, billions. Journalists found evidence of consumers being sold products that did not suit their needs and hidden charges for calls to different networks.

Now usually when one spends £4,000 (6662 USD) on a holiday, it means luxury hotels and sumptuous cuisine. Thanks to rip-off roaming charges, you can pretty much do that just by telling people what you’re up to on Facebook.

Whilst roaming is perhaps a pretty well known way to be driven mad by your mobile company, there are a few other examples of atrocious customer service by the big Telcos. In Canada, campaigners attempted to collate some of these stories to highlight the issue of customer service.

One customer whose legs were crushed in an accident decided he had to cancel his mobile contract due to a lack of income – his provider refused. A mother tried to cancel a phone contract created by her vulnerable son – she was rebuffed too.

If that lot hasn’t scared or surprised you, then surely this will. People who sold their phones to pawn shops have unwittingly sold their data on too. Easy to access software programs can recover phone data even when it appears to have been wiped.

Ready to fight for change now? Remember you can add your voice to our Phone Rights campaign by tweeting or updating your Facebook using the hashtag #MyPhoneMakesMeMadBecause. Time to hold Big Mobile to account!

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