Tuesday 12 December 2017

Mobile users with big unpaid bills 'flagged up' on database

According to the operators, the new move will reduce the exposure of bill-pay mobile users to unmanageable debt. Stock photo: PA
According to the operators, the new move will reduce the exposure of bill-pay mobile users to unmanageable debt. Stock photo: PA
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

People who run up large unpaid mobile phone bills may be unable to get a phone contract in future.

Mobile phone operators Eir, Three and Vodafone have come together to feed information into a new database that flags when customers run up large bills, and seek to move to a different operator.

The move affects those on bill pay.

The three operators say people who run up unpaid bills will not be denied a service, as they will be encouraged to opt for pre-pay services.

According to the operators, the new move will reduce the exposure of bill-pay mobile users to unmanageable debt.

The Telecommunications and Internet Federation, which is part of employer body Ibec, says the "debt flagging" system has been in operation since November.

The new system means that when a customer applies for a service, they are notified by the operator that, if they default on their bill payments, their data may be submitted to a database run by credit check firm Experian and made available to other telecoms companies.

The telecoms federations insisted customers were provided with access to further information on the type of data shared, its use by the operator, how long the data was held for and how customers could access the data held about them via links to the operator's privacy policy.

Turloch Denihan of the telecoms body said there would be no impact on mobile phone users' overall credit rating.

Irish Independent

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