Millions paying high mobile contract fees on devices they already own

Millions are paying extortionate mobile phone contract fees for smartphones they already own, study finds

  • Millions being charged high monthly fees on contracts for devices they own
  • Some phone companies charge the massive fees even after handset paid off
  • Estimated 4 million overpaid by as much as £490million in excessive charges
  • Citizens Advice found EE, Three and Vodafone routinely overcharge customers 

Millions are being charged extortionate monthly fees on mobile phone contracts to cover the cost of smartphone handsets they already own, according to research.

Those who buy a smartphone on a contract pay off the cost of the handset through a high monthly charge that also covers usage, usually over two years.

However, some phone companies still charge the high fee even after the cost of the handset has been fully paid off.

Four million customers have overpaid by as much as £490million – or an average £22 a month each – on their most recent contract, Citizens Advice found.

The debt charity said networks EE, Three and Vodafone routinely overcharge customers for their handsets after the end of their initial contract, new research revealed


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The debt charity said mobile networks EE, Three and Vodafone routinely overcharge customers for their handsets after the end of their initial contract.

It called on the firms to make pricing more transparent by separating the cost of the phone and usage, which mobile network O2 already does.

EE said separating handset and usage costs would not give customers the best deals. Vodafone said it already contacts users when they approach the end of their initial contract. Three said it would look into the issue of handset financing.

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