The Competition and Marketers Authority (CMA) professed that some cloud service providers are breaking consumer laws when they alter storage terms for whatever reason without prior notice.
“Such unfair treatment poses the risk of users losing the access to their personal possessions like photos”, stated the competition regulator.
CMA’s investigation discovered that some cloud storage providers are offering contract terms and doing practices showing breach on the consumer law.
Three out of ten adults in UK employ cloud services to save personal items like music, photos, films and other data using a remote server. One reason is because such storage service can be possible even with the use of tablets and smart phones.
However, CMA claimed that although the cloud storage is a very important service, it is unfavorable to some areas, considering the fact that some providers alter their clients’ contract terms at any time without giving any notice beforehand.
“Cloud service gives an easier alternative to saving family photos, films, favorite music and essential documents safe, plus the quick access to them using any device”, Nisha Arora; consumer senior director at CMA stated. “In our review, we found so many people who feel such service is important. But we also received criticisms from some of them due to unfair contracts and terms. If not addressed accordingly, such terms would lead to the loss of valuable possessions of users or them getting paying unexpected fees”, Nisha added.
The CMA stated that the concern is about the contract terms letting providers to terminate or suspend a contract regardless of any reason and even without notice. Consumer law can also be breached when providers renew their clients’ contact automatically when their fixed term has ended without informing their clients first and depriving them the right to withdraw.
However, JustCloud, Dixon Carphone and Livedrive promised to provide fairer terms to their clients and CMA asked others to follow.
“In today’s speedily developing market, it only pays to do something now to make sure that businesses follow the mandate of the law and that consumers’ confidence and trust on these important services will be retained. We acknowledge the fact that many companies agreed to improve their terms and look forward for others to do the same”, Arora stated.
As for the consumers, CMA reminded those Using cloud computing to know the details of their contracts before they sign them. They also threw challenge to all providers whom they believe to offer unfair contacts to change.