PEOPLE IN MORAY who suffer from a lack of mobile phone coverage should not be forced to stick with contracts that typically last for 18 to 24 month periods.
That is the view being expressed by a north MP this week who is supporting a long running campaign by local MP Angus Robertson for changes to mobile phone rules.
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey MP Drew Hendry says that a recent Code of Practice put in place by communications regulator Ofcom applying to broadband and landline services should be extended to include mobile phones.
The Code of Practice allows customers to get out of contracts at any time if the network provider fails to provide a “sufficient and reliable service”.
Mr Hendry said: “Having a mobile phone is now a vital part of everyday life for the majority of those in Scotland. They are of course great for socialising, but they are also requirement for many business, especially small businesses, who simply cannot operate without them.
“The Scottish Government is providing a great amount of support in its goal of making Scotland a ‘world-leading digital nation’ by 2020, however, too much of Scotland and especially rural areas suffer from a lack of service.
“Ofcom have rightly stepped in to allow broadband and landline users the option of getting out of their contracts if their service drops to an unacceptable level.
“My proposal, which I have raised with Ofcom and the UK Government, is to extend this right to mobile phone contracts and ensure that people are not stuck paying month-in-month-out for a completely useless device.”
The newly elected MP added that the majority of mobile contracts were between 18 months and two years – meaning that people could be stuck paying for a service that they are not receiving.
He added: “This is manifestly unfair. If Ofcom were to amend the Code of Practice for mobile phones, just as they have done for broadband and landlines, thousands of people across Scotland and the UK could be saved from these bills.
“Businesses and customers across the country want a better level of service and a better deal. This would be a step towards that. If you don’t have a signal, you shouldn’t have to pay.”