Ofcom is the regulator for the communications sector. Our principal duty is to further the interests of consumers and citizens in relation to communications matters.
Communications services feature usage-based charging, which combined with the availability of a wide variety of services priced at different levels, some of which are used infrequently, means that consumers can find themselves facing bills that exceed what they are used to, or expect. This is sometimes referred to as ‘bill-shock’.
Concerns about bill-shock are sometimes expressed directly by consumers in complaints received by Ofcom, as well as by MPs and through reporting in the media. The complaints that Ofcom receives about UHBs are usually in relation to mobile phone bills.
Ofcom has conducted regular research to monitor the proportion of consumers receiving unexpectedly high bills. This research also monitored the incidence of types of bill-shock within each of the communications markets.