All five networks and Ofcom have been summoned to a meeting at the House of Commons next Tuesday to discuss the continuing cashback crisis.
The meeting will kick off with a proposal to tear up customer airtime contracts from the collapsed high profile Birmingham cashback retailer, Dialamobile.
Midlands MP Roger Godsiff has called the meeting in response to large numbers of his constituents being owed thousands in some cases from cashback retailers, and will demand
operators have some financial responsibility if one their dealers goes bust.
Administrators estimate that as much as £12 million in cashback payments is owed to customers of Dialamobile.
He will call for ‘stiff penalty clauses’ to be built into operators’ contracts, which he hopes will make the airtime providers ‘think twice about hanging customers out to dry.’
Godsiff said: ‘The time for the ‘hands free’ approach to a steady and lucrative stream of quick connections where airtime providers have allowed practically anybody to sell or oversell their contracts is over.
‘There is a strong feeling around Westminster that good intentions now need the added authority of effective regulation and we will be making this point strongly to the regulator, Ofcom, as well,’ he added.
Ofcom boss Ed Richards announced at Ofcom’s annual lecture last month that the regulatory body would hold an official review into the effectiveness of the voluntary code, signed by all five operators earlier this year. The findings of the review will be presented in Q2 of next year.
Although operators have moved to distance themselves from errant retailers who offer unsustainable incentives they have maintained that the code, which was signed in July, should be given more time.
‘The airtime providers are complicit in this situation and they will not be allowed just to sit back, expect payment in full whilst nodding in agreement that the time for cashback deals is over,’ Godsiff said. ‘This is a point that both I and my parliamentary colleagues hope to make very directly to the airtime providers at the forthcoming meeting at Westminster.’