Operators have thrown their support behind Ofcom’s plans to stamp out misleading sales and marketing tactics in the mobile industry.
The regulator today unveiled a set of proposals which it hopes will put an end to cashback problems and the issue of mis-selling.
A 3 spokesman said: '3 broadly supports action to better protect customers from mis-selling by retailers.
‘As a business 3 has taken strong action over the past year. We believe our minimum business standards, introduced to protect customers in October of last year, are the most stringent in the industry.
‘We would welcome similar standards being adopted across the industry as a whole and hope that Ofcom’s proposals will make this happen sooner rather than later.'
A O2 spokesman said: ‘We welcome Ofcom’s consultation. ‘We know from Ofcom's figures that other operators generate on average around 10 to 15 times more cashback complaints per net connection than O2.
‘It’s important that consumers are protected against the minority in the market who are causing problems.
‘We think Ofcom should be tough on offenders – but not burdensome on those that are trading responsibly.’
A Vodafone spokeswoman said: ‘Vodafone cares about the issue of cashback, as we realise that there has been consumer harm, and we welcome Ofcom’s consultation.
‘However, Vodafone does not offer cashback deals. Problems have arisen largely due to a limited number of independent dealers.
‘Vodafone has acted sympathetically to those customers who approached us after problems with their cashback deals, for example offering heavily discounted line rental.
‘We have not yet had time to study Ofcom’s recommendations in detail, but we welcome any action against any mis-selling in the mobile marketplace.’
An Orange spokesperson said: 'Orange is very aware of the problems mis-selling can cause for our customers and we welcome Ofcom's support in dealing with the issue. Many of the proposals Ofcom has announced today build upon the measures we voluntarily introduced last year, via the industry Code of Practice, in order to protect our customers.
Orange has already implemented significant changes to the terms and conditions we set for indirect dealers, regulated how cashback deals and outbound calling are conducted and based our business standards on advice given by Ofcom.
'Orange has been very proactive in addressing any issues, including ceasing to deal with over 100 dealers who did not meet the high levels of customer service we demand from our dealers.
'As such, we feel that formal and costly regulation is unnecessary as mis-selling is an issue that Orange, and the rest of the industry, is committed to addressing with robust action already being taken.
'We will consider these new proposals in detail and respond accordingly but, in the meantime, we will continue to work with Ofcom, and our dealers to ensure that Orange customers can be confident in the agreements made.'