I’m a big fan of the mobile phone industry as we all probably are, and I’m constantly in awe of its technology and innovation. However, according to news reports this morning based on a study of 26,000 cases from 2015, the Citizens Advice Bureau has identified serious shortcomings in basic approaches to affordability and indebtedness in general.
Beneath the glossy veneer there are reports of customers being allowed to take out multiple handsets despite already being in debt, failure to set affordable repayment plans and refusal to deal with the debt advice sector.
We’ve all seen industries play hard and fast in the absence of specific regulation and control (pay day lenders for example) and the mobile phone industry can learn a lot from techniques, processes and practices that have been around in other sectors for years.
I’m sure there are reputable mobile phone companies out there with ethical standards but the key for the industry as a whole is consistency.
Seems it’s time for organisations to take a look at themselves and for the regulators to take a leaf out of the FCA’s book and introduce specific regulations, expectations and controls so that customers are treated fairly regardless of the industry they owe money to.
Nick Walsh, Principal Consultant