Numerous contracts stipulate the instalment of a smartphone’s cost over two to three years.
However, it has been claimed that companies should have reduced the monthly charge for millions of customers once the device had been repaid in full.
It has been alleged that the four largest network operators penalised devoted customers by charging them more for the same services than new customers.
Numerous contracts require the instalment of a smartphone’s cost over two to three years. However, it has been claimed that companies should have reduced the monthly charge once the device was repaid.
Former Citizens Advice executive Justin Gutmann and the law firm Charles Lyndon have initiated legal proceedings. They aim to obtain compensation totaling a minimum of £3.285 billion. Mr Gutmann asserted that if successful, affected consumers could receive up to £1,823 each.
The class action lawsuit has been lodged with the London-based Competition Appeal Tribunal.
All eligible consumers will be inadvertently incorporated into the claim without incurring costs unless they take explicit steps to decline.
The assertion is in response to a “super complaint” lodged with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) by Citizens Advice in September 2018. The CMA concluded: “Once customers have fully repaid their handsets at the conclusion of the minimum contract period, we do not believe that providers should maintain charging them the same rate.”
“This is unfair and must be stopped.”
Mr Gutmann stated, “Through loyalty penalties, I believe these four mobile phone companies have systematically exploited millions of loyal customers across the United Kingdom, stealing over £3 billion from the pockets of hard-working individuals and their families. As a result, I am launching this class action lawsuit.”
An O2 spokesperson stated, “Our legal department has not been contacted regarding this claim as of this moment.” Nonetheless, we take great pride in the fact that ten years ago, we were the first to offer split contracts, which reduce customers’ expenses in their entirety and automatically once the handset has been repaid in full.
We have consistently advocated for the cessation of the “smartphone swindle.” And we also want other mobile service providers to stop charging users for devices they already own.
“We strongly disagree with the speculative claim that has been brought against us,” EE’s spokesperson stated. EE provides various tariff options and a streamlined procedure for handling end-of-contract notifications.
Vodafone stated, “This was just brought to our attention. And our legal department does not have sufficient information at this time to evaluate it.”