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Ofcom confirms no planned enforcement on Mobile Bill Limit legislation

INFORM Billing has this afternoon directly received written confirmation that Ofcom has no plans to open an enforcement programme for Mobile Bill Limits when the legislation commences on 1st October.

The new legislation relating to the ‘capping’ of mobile bills is due to come into effect on 1st October. Since its announcement, Inform Billing in conjunction with the FCS, has been campaigning hard with relevant government departments and Ofcom to seek clarification as to what this means for independent mobile providers in the channel and their ability to comply from both a technical and financial perspective.

One of the key points highlighted is the negative impact of shifting financial responsibility from the end-customer to the mobile provider when in many cases, the customer has greater financial resources than the provider and direct control of employee/ end user usage policy and adherence to that policy.

Inform Billing’s Director’s highlighted the difficulty in gaining access and processing usage data in ‘real-time’ through the supply chain and any subsequent actions to prevent excess usage. This is particularly difficult when data is not available for many hours or even days. Alongside this, they highlighted the negative impact of shifting financial responsibility from the end-customer to the mobile provider in a channel environment. In many cases business customers have greater financial resources and of course, are the ones with direct control over their employee’s adhering to their usage policies.

Inform Billing today received a delayed response from Margot James MP – Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries – via Andrew Griffiths MP, who was Minister for Small Business before his recent resignation. The letter states that their workings with Ofcom have resulted in confirmation that, at this stage they have no plans to open an enforcement programme on the commencement date. Ofcom will consider action in line with their enforcement guidelines and expect consumer complaints to be a factor for consideration.

So, what does this mean?

In a letter to its customers, Inform Billing wrote:

“Our interpretation is that the legislation still exists, but Ofcom and the government department have now confirmed(in writing that they do not intend to enforce this legislation until such time they receive relevant complaints from customers. At the very least we feel this gives everyone a little breathing space. In the meantime, we have and will continue to work hard to implement functionality to allow compliance should you feel the need to do so, whether that be from a necessity or competitive perspective. We will be issuing further detailed information relating to this in the coming days.”

Managing Director of Inform Billing, Shaun Bodsworth, spent over a decade working directly in mobile resale and is passionate about this legislation and the potential impact on independent mobile providers and the channel as a whole. You can read more about Shaun’s thought’s in the upcoming October edition of Comms Business magazine.

Darren Sailsbury recently spoke about the issue at Channel Live with Editor David Dungay. See that interview below.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine