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Citizens Advice calls for strong protections for people hit by mobile ‘not spots’

29 October 2016

Mobile phone users who persistently get a bad signal should be allowed to leave their contract early without having to pay a penalty fee, says Citizens Advice.

Responding to a report from MP’s which reveals that 17million people have poor mobile phone receptions in our own homes, the national charity said consumer protections have not kept up with changing mobile phone markets.

Gillian Guy, Chief executive of Citizens Advice said:

“Mobile phones are now an essential part of everyday life. So it can cause real problems when people have poor mobile coverage.

“What's worse is that customers can be signed up to long term contracts only to find they don't have enough reception to make a call or send a message.

“Those who persistently get a bad signal should be allowed to leave their contract early without having to pay a penalty fee.

"Most providers also combine the cost of handset with call minutes and data making it hard to tell how much you're paying for each. Separating these costs out, as some providers already do, would make it much easier for people to change provider if they need to.

“Consumer protections haven't kept pace with the changing mobile market. While banks and energy companies have been under intense scrutiny for some time in terms of their offer to customers - in some areas they are ahead of the mobile industry when it comes to the protections they offer consumers. It's time the same focus is put on the mobile industry.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.