The mobile telephone operator Orange has recently increased its prices by over 4% and the consumer watchdog, Ofcom has said that they are considering an investigation into the price hike. Since the rise in the amount people have been billled has occurred Ofcom have received a huge number of complaints from the company’s customers.
A spokesperson from Ofcom has stated, “We are receiving a very large volume of complaints and we are currently monitoring the nature to see whether we should instigate an investigation. We have not made a decision yet but will be continuing to assess the complaint situation to see whether we need to do so.”
The mobile phone company have claimed that they are well within their rights to increase the price of their mobile phone contracts. People who have made complaints have been asked by the company to look at their contracts where they clearly state that the company are allowed to increase the price at the rate of inflation. The amount the mobile operator have increased the rates by is actually less than the current inflation rate of nearly five and a half per cent.
Regulations from Ofcom which supersede any terms and conditions from Orange state that, “Adequate notice must be given to subscribers for any modifications to a contract that might cause detriment. Furthermore, subscribers will be allowed to withdraw their contracts if such changes occur without incurring any penalty.” Essentially, whether customers are allowed to back out of their contracts will depend on the way that ‘material detriment’ is interpreted.
A spokesperson from Orange has stated, “This change is not of material detriment to any of our customers. Our terms clearly state that we are allowed to increase the price by contracts at the rate of inflation and this is what we have done.”