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Fix Our Phone Rights

With an estimated 6.8 billion people owning a mobile, they can be found in almost every country around the world. More than just phones, mobiles are now mini computers, giving us access to information and services that are crucial to livelihoods and health. They are increasingly important tools that help to empower citizens and consumers. But mobile rip offs are also commonplace – from holidaymakers being stung by four figure roaming bills abroad, to customers tricked into paying to receive text messages.

#PhoneRights Campaign

To mark World Consumer Rights Day 2014, we delivered a new Consumer Agenda for Fair Mobile Services to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – the UN body responsible for setting standards in the industry.

The agenda asked that telecom companies should: 

  • provide consumers with access to an affordable, reliable service
  • provide consumers with fair contracts explained in clear, complete and accessible language
  • provide consumers with fair and transparent billing
  • provide consumers with security and power over their own information, and
  • listen and respond to consumer complaints.




Amanda Long, Consumers International Director General, said:

“Mobile phones are an everyday part of the lives of billions of people. From social interaction, and digital identity; to banking and e-commerce: they have become essential to the way we live, spend, connect and express ourselves.

“But consumers the world over complain about the service they receive from telecom providers. From West Africa, to Asia Pacific; Europe, to South America - our member groups are telling us that connection reliability, unfair contracts, unclear billing, poor customer services and concerns over data privacy are regular issues for consumers. It’s time the international telecom providers answer the call for action.”

ACTION TAKEN AROUND THE WORLD

More than 80 consumer organisations marked World Consumer Rights Day – Fix Our Phone Rights! Members held national events to raise the issues that were most pressing for consumers in their countries. See how we mapped the world consumer movement's efforts for the day. 

Worldwide coverage of the event saw articles in The Economist, The Guardian and Indian newspaper the Hindu. We also enjoyed success on social media. The numbers of users who saw our Facebook page went up by 270% and Consumers International got people discussing their phone rights on Twitter.

We also used Twitter to make UN communications agency ITU take heed of our demands for better mobile rights, with members such as Which? and Consumer Reports supporting our call.

Below is a snapshot of some the day's events from across the globe.

ACCAN and fellow Australian member CHOICE released research showing that over 50% of mobile-phone customers with an included allowance aren’t using their full monthly call, text or data.

In the Philippines, IBON was part of a ‘hackathon’ that brought together 30-50 experts to produce two apps and a website to record consumer complaints and pass them on to regulatory agencies.

In Africa, Kenyan members CIN, KCO, CUTS and YEN launched a month-long campaign on social media to raise awareness of consumer phone rights in Kenya.

Once again, World Consumer Rights Day was a major event in China with the country’s state broadcaster - as is tradition – exposing a major consumer scandal.

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