O2 is launching an Overpayment Estimator to put power back into the hands of consumers, providing a quick and easy way for people to find out if they are being overcharged for their mobile contracts.
The move aims to change the outdated industry practice of charging consumers for phones they already own.
Customers using the Overpayment Estimator will be asked questions about their current contract, including the device, as well as the monthly and upfront payments they are making, with the Overpayment Estimator providing guidance on how much they could potentially be overpaying per month.
Customers currently in-contract will also be offered the option to download a calendar invitation to remind them when their contract ends.
With custom plans, O2 customers don’t get charged for their phones beyond the end of their contract and, unlike some competitors, O2 will automatically and immediately lower customer bills once a phone has been paid off.
Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said: “It is simply not right that consumers across the UK are being charged for a phone they already own. You wouldn’t keep giving money to your mortgage provider if you’d finished payments and owned your house – so why should it be that way for your phone? The mobile industry does not have the best track record on transparent billing practices. Our Overpayment Estimator is another positive move towards changing that.”
The introduction of the Overpayment Estimator comes at a time when UK consumers are calling for greater flexibility in their mobile payments. Recent research conducted by YouGov on behalf of O2 found that 81% of Brits feel trapped by fixed term contracts for mobile technology, and 89% agree that operators should make monthly contract payments more flexible.
To try and combat this “injustice”, O2 has now put the Apple Watch on its O2 Custom plan. This allows more customers to access the freedom of cellular connected wearables, including the ability to be more active and manage their health in powerful new ways. According to the YouGov research, currently fewer than 1 in 10 people (9%) own a smart watch, with cost one of the most significant barriers to ownership.