CERC joins CI in demanding phone rights for 7 billion users

Ahmedabad, 14 March 2014

Consumers International (CI) published its Consumer Agenda for Fair Mobile Services ahead of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on 15 March 2014. In the run up to WCRD, consumer groups will be making one big call on mobile phone service providers to demand better services for the 7 billion mobile users across the globe.

Mobile rip offs are commonplace – from holidaymakers being stung by four figure roaming bills abroad, to customers tricked into paying to receive text messages. With smartphones set to function as a remote control for more and more aspects of our lives, consumer groups believe now is the time to ensure that big mobile companies are held to account for unfair, substandard services.

In consultation with consumer groups around the world, CI has drawn up an agenda which outlines what the consumer rights movement wants to see changed. This includes demands that telecom companies:

• provide consumers with access to an affordable, reliable service

• provide consumers with fair contracts explained in clear, complete and accessible language

• provide consumers with fair and transparent billing

• provide consumers with security and power over their own information, and listen and respond to consumer complaints.

CI is delivering this message to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – the UN body responsible for setting standards in the industry – ahead of the ITU World Telecommunications Development Conference in early April.

Amanda Long, Consumers International Director General said: “Mobile phones are an everyday part of the lives of billions of people. From social interaction, and digital identity; to banking and e-commerce: they have become essential to the way we live, spend, connect and express ourselves.”

But consumers the world over complain about the service they receive from telecom providers. “From West Africa, to Asia Pacific; Europe, to South America – our member groups are telling us that connection reliability, unfair contracts, unclear billing, poor customer services and concerns over data privacy are regular issues for consumers. It’s time the international telecom providers answer the call for action,” she stressed.

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