Mobile Phones – Watchdog Calls For Greater Customer Choice
T-Mobile is stopping its 12-month pay-monthly tariffs in the next month. The end of T-Mobile's one-year contracts sees the end of the big five operators providing 12-month deals and a consumer watchdog has called for greater customer choice with two-year contracts now the norm.
Many of the high-end mobile phones and smartphones are readily available on a two-year pay-monthly basis, but a Government watchdog is leading the campaign for providers to offer a wider range of pay-monthly options.
Nick Hutton, Consumer Focus communications expert, said: "We need to see mobile-phone companies offering a range of contract-lengths, which suit consumers' needs, rather than the existing trend towards longer contracts." Longer contracts may limit consumer choice and could Potentially lead to higher prices for consumers.
"Longer contracts suit some customers and allow providers to offer discounts on handsets. However customers who find them need to leave their contract may face high termination charges." If consumers are tied into such contracts and rarely switch it may also give less incentive for suppliers to Offer the best price deal. "
One of the last remaining 12-month pay-monthly contracts exists as part of Tesco Mobile's iPhone marketing push. Neverheless there is a definite worrying trend towards two-year contracts, with both mobile manufacturers and carriers using the extended contracts to subsidize the cost of the high-end handsets.
With top-of-the-range smartphones now vastly attractive to the mobile consumer market, mobile phone accessories are also becoming a vastly in-demand commodity. The ability to purchase data leads to connect information between smartphones and PC's and laptops and the numerous Bluetooth connectivity products, means data transfer has never been easier – despite the lack of tariff choice.