Billing limits for mobile subscriptions
This is a new legislation that has been introduced by parliament as part of the Digital Economy Act, which is coming into force on the 1st October 2018 as part of the Communications Act.
Billing limits will apply to all new contracts, including re-signs, taken out from 1st October 2018 and aims to significantly reduce the risk of bill shock.
The guidelines have been outlined in this link released by Ofcom for more information click here
What is the scope and what actions need to be taken?
The option of setting up a bill limit applies to new customers and renewals. In line with the general marketplace, Hardsoft will be offering this at the MPN level as opposed to the account level. From 1 October 2018, all providers should offer the ability to manage (apply, edit/remove) bill limits throughout the lifecycle as required with fair notice from the customer. Restrictions and spend values must be reset at the beginning of each bill cycle.
Notifications must be communicated both as the customer approaches the agreed limit and once that limit has been breached. Notifications must be in writing by customer preferred contact method (SMS/email/letter).
Providers are prohibited from charging beyond the set bill limit, even if a customer exceeds the amount and the service is not restricted or highlighted by the provider in time.
Premium and non-standard services still chargeable (in part) providers will not be able to pass on “Access Charges” related to premium and non-geo call types however relevant “Service Charges” will be passed on and will not contribute towards the bill limit value. In addition “Charge to Mobile” services or any non-mobile usage (such as MPAY) will not form a part of the bill limit.
Access bundles and free services – in the event that a customer breaches their bill limit, providers must still offer, where possible end users access to inclusive allowances (like tariff allowances and bolt-ons), free-of-charge services and emergency services.
Please be aware that implementation of these regulations may differ from provider to provider (including networks), for example, some providers may choose to include the service charge element of a call towards the customer’s bill limit. Customers’ may query this or other offerings included within the bill limit.
Adjustments to the billing and services
Your bill will not rate/charge above and beyond set limits for calls that fall within limit boundaries for qualifying calls (MPAY, service charges etc. will still be billed beyond capped value).
As a customer, you have the ability to self-manage limits via thee MyAccount portal and that auto-notifications are provided when limits are applied, adjusted or removed.
New barring profiles based on current bar lists set by the network, will be applied based on how and when a customer breaches their limit and barring information for full details click here
HardSoft Limited customers on the Affinity billing platform may need to move systems in the event that they require a bill limit to be set if you’re uncertain which billing platform you’re on, please contact your account manager or customer services.
Existing O2 DISE customers will not be supported for mobile bill limits, however, new business and renewals on 02 will have access to barring functionality.
Would the bill limits apply to all tariffs, even when a customer re-signs on a legacy tariff?
Yes, with Hardsoft this is not currently restricted by tariff, some other providers/operators may restrict availability.
Are notifications sent automatically or manually and how are they sent?
Notifications are to be auto-generated by the system at 80%, 90% and upon breach of limit value. The end user will receive an SMS notification in every instance, administrators can set additional alerts for notification by email or letter.
Will existing customers, who are mid-term within their agreements, still have access to capping functionality?
Yes, they will continue to have access to existing MyAccount functionality including auto alerts and bars. The main difference being those restriction limits are not capped and items such as late landing traffic will still be billed onto the customer.
Can the customer adjust the value of the limit mid-month?
No. Instead they can only opt-out mid billing month and then set new limit to apply from the following billing cycle.
How will late landing traffic, roaming or domestic affect the limit?
Late landing traffic will always contribute towards bundles and limits as it always has. However, if it falls outside of the set limit, and is a qualifying event type, then it will not be billed on to the customer.
Click here to find out more about Limitless SIM plans.