66 million active mobile accounts in the UK are in excess. Customers regularly change their packages n search often because of improving tariffs and services, or staying with their current network on a different tariff or switching to another network. In order to serve this customer demand, there is intense competition within the mobile retail segment, through direct sales, service providers and resellers, to retain and/or acquire customers.
Because of the intensity of the competition, it is also necessary to guard against the risk of customers being confused or misled during the sales process. A customer must be clear as to which network and tariff he or she is being signed up to and what his/her obligations will be under the terms of the contract with the mobile operator.
As a consequence, the O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3 have agreed the code of practice, defining the principles of best practice for promoting and selling mobile airtime subscriptions, including pre-pay airtime, ('mobile services') services and handling any complaints arising from the sales process. Under the Code, mobile operators have flexibility as to how they apply these principles to their respective retail channels.
The guidelines comprises the following sections: