Roll back to October 2017 and my colleague Kyle Anderson posted this with regard to business customers and consumers paying for handsets they already own. It was with some surprise to see it once again the front page of the BBC website only 11 months later.
We took the decision a few years ago to follow the lead of O2 and charge for mobile airtime and handsets separately. To do so represents the most open and transparent business practice and renders this front page news obsolete.
To be clear, if we supply you with a phone worth £480 then over 24 months you would see a charge of £20.00 per month for the phone on your bill. At month 25 this charge would stop, leaving you with a mobile airtime SIM rental charge.
It is very simple. The only difference between O2 and 2 Circles is that we can also do this for Vodafone and EE connections and not just O2 airtime.
All three networks, handsets plainly itemised, all on one bill.
About four million people have been charged for mobile phones they already own, spending £500m extra on contracts, according to Citizens Advice. Three of Britain's biggest mobile networks, EE, Three and Vodafone, continue to charge for handsets even after the cost has been paid off. Many customers have no idea they are being charged for phones after their contracts have ended. The practice is "unacceptable", said Citizens Advice boss Gillian Guy. "We need action," she said. "Other companies have already stopped doing this so we're looking for these three major providers to follow suit."