The communications industry regulator Ofcom has announced plans to carry out a review of “additional” charges being levied by operators and Citizens Advice is keen to see consumers, particularly those on low incomes, more effectively protected.
Concerns have been raised that many consumers are being charged simply for not paying for their communications services by direct debt, which in some cases can add to an already stretched financial situation.
“Citizens Advice bureaux do see evidence of the impact that additional charging can have on low-income consumers,” said Tony Herbert, the charity’s policy officer.
“The regulator’s first priority should be to protect consumers and ensure fair practice, and when that is assured, healthy competition can still flourish,” he added.
More than 1.4 million approached Citizens Advice about debt over the course of last year, the organisation’s own figures have shown.