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December 3, 2013

Cap agreed to curb bills from stolen mobile phones

Customers whose devices are stolen will not be left with “shock bills”.

By Joe Curtis

Mobile phone owners whose devices are stolen are set to be protected from eye-watering bills after an agreement between the British government and four operators.

EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone are the firms which have agreed to a new cap on what customers would be expected to pay, if their devices were stolen.

The operators would also have new responsibilities to tell customers about mid-contract price rises, as well as then giving customers the ability to cancel the contract without incurring a penalty.

Culture secretary Maria Miller said: "Families can be left struggling if carefully planned budgets are 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."

The cap is thought to be set at around £50 – the same cap on what customers would be liable for if their debit or credit cards were stolen – and should be in place come spring 2014.

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