I can speak clearly now

Great news through today is that after the supercomplaint we submitted last year on the price of phone calls from prisons has resulted in a 12% price cut. It is a sensitive topic, but also an exploitation of vulnerable consumers and one that ends up costing society as the more in contact prisoners are with their families, the less likely they are to reoffend – each person that reoffends costs something like 135k in courts and prison I recall.

This covers England and Wales – it is not clear yet whether the Scottish Prison Service and Siemens (who charge the same price as BT) have done a parallel deal.

Philip Cullum who led this work with colleagues tells me that it is a major win for Consumer Focus because the government strongly rejected action on this for many years, despite protests from prisoner groups and the Prisons Ombudsman, because they insisted the contract with BT, the monopoly provider, was set in stone.

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