The sale of expensive phones on never-never nosedive

Fewer people are buying mobile phones as part of a mobile phone subscription in the wake of new legislation on credit, broadcaster NOS reports.

Since May, defacto loans for phones costing more than €250 are included in the official debt register.

Buyers have to show they earn over a €800 a month and the loan is reported to the credit registration bureau BKR.  This listing can have an impact on mortgage and other loan applications.

According to figures from research bureau Telcompaper, some 34% of people taking out a new telecoms contract opted to buy their phone outright in the first quarter of the year. But the total went up to 44% by the third quarter.

Phone companies report an increase in sim card-only subscriptions and students in particular are opting for less expensive options. Phone company Belsimpel told NOS found the number of sim card-only subscriptions among this group has doubled since the introduction of the legislation.

According to Belsimpel director Jeroen Doorenbos, the €800 threshold is too strict. ‘You can’t spend more than 250 euros on a phone but it’s perfectly ok to buy an expensive gym subscription,’ he told NOS.

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