A new voluntary scheme endorsed by the government has limited mobile companies to a £100 maximum charge if a user’s mobile phone is stolen or lost.
Mobile networks Vodafone, EE, O2, Three and Virgin Media have agreed to implement the new rule, which will take effect if the phone is reported lost or stolen to the police and to the network within 24 hours of the incident.
Users under the Three network can now take advantage of this service, the first of the networks to actually enforce the ruling. Meanwhile, EE intends to follow suit in “the coming weeks,” Vodafone "in the summer" and Virgin Media from July, while O2 will introduce it from September 2015.
The move to limit the mobile users’ call and data costs is designed to stop bill shock in cases when the thief consumes huge costs in making calls or using data bundles.
“Protecting hardworking families from shock bills through no fault of their own has been a priority for this government,” Minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey said.
“By working with the mobile operators, we have secured an agreement that will provide consumers with real benefits as well as offer peace of mind.”
On top of the new protection provisioned by the government, Mobile Broadband Group chair Hamish MacLeod said that customers can “continue taking steps to look after their phone [by] always using a PIN, installing a tracker app, registering devices at immobilise.com and reporting a loss as soon as possible.”
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