Vodafone hits out at Ofcom proposal

04 January 2013 | Kavit Majithia


Vodafone has hit out at UK regulator Ofcom’s proposals to make it easier for its subscribers to move away from existing contracts.

Ofcom outlined a plan to allow customers to terminate contracts for mobile, internet or fixed-line calls early if operators imposed rises in tariffs for fixed deals.

Vodafone said such proposals could spark confusion for consumers with the introduction of a different array of tariffs.

The proposals, which are subject to consultation, are said to be deemed necessary by the regulator after it was inundated with complaints from angry subscribers after Vodafone, Orange and O2 increased prices during contract terms.

Ofcom believes it does not have the option of banning mid-contract price hikes because the action would breach European law.

Vodafone claimed the proposals could mean an increase in “the cost of getting a mobile phone contract for millions of people”, rather than it decreasing.

The UK operator further rejected banning mid-contract price hikes because price rises were often beyond an operators control. This is due to the fact that mobile operators lease wholesale capacity from BT, for example, and face fluctuating charges on a different level.