Advice Column: Dialing Down Debt

Thursday 7th June 2018

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo advice column this week we focus on our Dialling Down Debt campaign.

 I’m in a dispute with my mobile phone provider about a bill I don’t’ agree with. I have read about your Dialing Down Debt campaign. What is it all about?

 We’re campaigning to improve the debt collection practices of mobile phone providers. This has already led to parliament passing a law letting customers put a cap on their monthly mobile phone bills. But there is still more to do.

Mobile phones are now a central part of life. Approximately 95% of households own one and for an increasing number of people, they no longer have a landline. This is especially true for lower income households who are 5 times more likely only to have a mobile phone.

Despite these changes, the mobile phone industry lags behind other essential markets – such as energy and water – when it comes to working with customers who have fallen into debt. As people depend more and more on their mobile phones, the implications of mobile phone debt and disconnection become more severe.

We want mobile phone providers to sign up to our debt collection charter. It’s based on best practice across other regulated markets, and contains key commitments to help customers in debt. We want mobile phone companies to:

  • Direct their customers to sources of free debt advice and collaborate with debt advisers acting on behalf of their customers.
  • Proactively make contact with customers who are experiencing payment difficulties.
  • Make it easier for customers to contact companies about their bill and negotiate repayment rates which reflect their ability to pay.
  • Suspend collection action when the customer reasonably disputes the debt.

For more information and advice about mobile phone, or other, debts visit

 Look out for our column next week when we focus on Scams Awareness Month.

 The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit