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Mobile phone bills to be capped if handset is stolen

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Consumers will be better protected from "huge bills" run-up on stolen mobiles under an agreement between the government and four phone operators.

EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have agreed to cap bills on a phone that has been reported lost or stolen.

The companies have also agreed to tell consumers at the start of contracts about mid-contract price hikes.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “We are ensuring hardworking families are not hit with shock bills through no fault of their own.

“Families can be left struggling if carefully planned budgets are being blown away by unexpected bills from a stolen mobile or a mid-contract price rise.

“This agreement with the telecoms companies will deliver real benefits to consumers and help ensure people are not hit with shock bills.”

BT, Sky and Talk Talk have also signed up to the agreement.

The aim is for the liability cap on mobiles that are lost or stolen to be in place from spring next year. The cap would work in a similar way to debit and credit cards where there is a £50 liability cap.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said: “The last thing you need after the hassle of a stolen mobile is to find that someone has used it and landed you with a sky high bill too.

“Phone companies have listened to government and to their customers and I welcome their agreement to protect them from unexpected costs and mid-contract price rises.”



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