Orange has finally met government demands to make its contracts more flexible, after the Office of Fair Trading first intervened over a year ago.
In November 1996, Vodafone was the first mobile operator to add flexibility to its contract terms after the OFT demanded seven mobile phone airtime companies should change their terms and conditions. BT, Cellnet Call Connections, One2One, and Motorola Tel-co followed last March, and today Orange announced its new deal.
As of 1 May, Orange will fall into line with the other suppliers and enable its customers to give one month?s termination notice instead of the existing three-month requirement.
Despite being the last to change its contract, Orange said it also introduced the 14-day get-out clause and the freedom to change tariffs without penalty.
The Telecomms Users? Association welcomed the news but said the industry still has much to change. Said Bill Mieran, TUA chairman: ?The mobile industry still needs to work on its prices which are still high.?
He also questioned the effectiveness of the UK?s method of subsidising the cost of handsets with inflated tariffs. ?The operators have so much buying power so why should Motorola, Nokia and the others still sell their handsets at such high prices??
On the pricing issue, telecomms watchdog Oftel is expected to release soon the results of its consultative document on the cost of fixed line calls to mobile phones. Oftel said this should be cut by at least one-third.
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