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MoObile Networks Urged to Offer Better Deals to Customers

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A UK consumer rights organisation is calling on mobile network operators to put more effort into ensuring that customers are put on the most appropriate tariff for them.

Research by Which? claims that only four in 10 (40%) currently trust their mobile phone provider to put them on the best deal for their usage at the end of their contract, and many think it is unfair phones are locked to one provider.

One in ten (12%) weren't confident when taking out their contract that it was the best tariff for them and four in ten (42%) think there is probably a better value tariff for their usage than the one they're currently on, suggesting mobile phone companies could be doing more to help people identify the best deal for them.

The majority of mobile networks currently don't contact customers proactively about the date their contract is due to end, but more than half (53%) of people said they would like to be notified.

Seven in ten (69%) said this would make them spend more time considering deals or haggling with their current provider and many (78%) also said this would prompt them to put more time into finding a deal that is better value for money.

Mobile phone companies also tend to charge people to unlock their phone and will often only do it when asked, which can act as a barrier to switching. However, two thirds (66%) think it's unfair that phones are locked to the provider's network and three-quarters (77%) say it's frustrating that phones need to be unlocked to use them on a different network. Eight in 10 (82%) think providers should unlock a phone for free when the contract comes to an end.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: "We want to send a message to mobile phone companies that they should help customers get a better deal by alerting people that their contracts are about to end and by unlocking handsets for free."

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Tags: UK