Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




SNP MPs are continuing to lead the the fight for a fairer deal for mobile phone users who suffer from a lack of coverage. Currently, those who sign up to a mobile phone contract are stuck in that contract for the duration of the term (usually 18-24 months), even when they have poor or no-signal at all.

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson has continued to push for better coverage in the region and raised specific blackspots and areas of no coverage directly with mobile phone network providers. The local MP recently wrote to the main providers seeking information on their investment plans for Moray and will shortly be meeting senior representatives of the companies to push them further on the issue.

Neighbouring SNP MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey - Drew Hendry - has also highlighted recent changes instituted by Ofcom to the Code of Practice that applies to broadband and landline services – where users can get out of their contract at any time if the provider fails to provide sufficient reliable service. Mr Hendry has has written to Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Sharon White and Communications Minister Ed Vaizey MP asking for similar regulations to apply to mobile phone contracts.

Commenting on the ongoing efforts to get mobile phone service improvements Angus Robertson MP said:

“Having a mobile phone is now a vital part of everyday life for the majority of those in Scotland. They are of course great for socialising, but they are also critical for many business, especially small businesses, who simply cannot compete effectively without them.

“I am continuing to press the mobile phone companies for more information on their investment plans for Moray and while they have stated that there will be investment in improving coverage in Moray they are holding back on exactly what that means.

“While commercial sensitivity is an issue, given they are competing in the marketplace I still believe they can do far better in making it clearer to subscribers - who are, after all, paying through their mobile phone bills for this investment, what they can expect in terms of service improvement.

“In the case of broadband and landline users Ofcom have rightly stepped in to allow an option of getting out of their contracts if their service drops to an unacceptable level. The SNP, through neighbouring MP Drew Hendry, has raised with this with Ofcom and the UK Government with a view to extending this right to mobile phone contracts and ensure that people are not stuck paying month-in-month-out for a completely useless device.

“The majority of mobile phone contracts are now between 18 months and two years, meaning that people can be stuck paying for a service they are not receiving. This is manifestly unfair. If Ofcom were to amend the Code of Practice for mobile phones, just as they have done for broadband and landlines, thousands of people across Scotland and the UK could be saved from these bills.

“Businesses and individuals across the country want a better level of service and a better deal. This would be a step towards that. If you don’t have a signal, you shouldn’t have to pay.”