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Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are finally throwing their weight behind a government-backed push to get the cloud storage community to roll out fairer terms for users.
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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed that the trio had committed to altering their contract terms to protect users from unexpected price hikes or service terminations.
In a statement, the CMA said all three had separately committed to changing their terms and conditions to ensure users get adequate notice of any “significant changes” to their services.
Also, if users are not happy with the changes these providers plan to introduce, all three have offered to give pro-rota refunds.
Andrea Coscelli, acting CEO of the CMA, said that, given how reliant consumers are becoming on cloud storage services, providers had a duty of care to ensure they treated users and their data with respect.
“People rely on cloud storage to keep things such as treasured family photos, music, films and important documents safe, so it is important that they are treated fairly and should not be hit by unexpected price rises or changes to storage levels,” said Coscelli.
“Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have joined seven previous companies in working with the CMA and agreeing commitments to improve their terms and conditions.
“As a result, millions of cloud storage users will benefit from fairer terms, which will help them make the right choices when using cloud storage services.”
Read more about the CMA’s cloud storage market review
- Cloud storage firms that drastically increase their prices or renege on promises of unlimited capacity could find themselves in breach of consumer law, government competition chiefs have warned.
- Dropbox and Google are among the latest tranche of online storage providers to join the government’s push to get the cloud industry to introduce fairer terms and conditions for users.
The likes of Dropbox and Google, and a number of lesser-known providers, have pledged their support for the CMA’s review of the cloud storage market, which began in November 2015.
The initiative’s aim is to assess how the terms and conditions offered by the cloud storage provider community complies with consumer rights laws.
This followed numerous headlines and reports about cloud storage firms raising prices, cutting the amount of free capacity they offer or shutting down with little warning to customers.
Notable by their absence, until now, have been Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, given that their services are relied on by millions of cloud storage users across the world.
Securing the support of these three means the CMA’s review of the cloud storage sector is now complete, the organisation confirmed.
“The CMA remains interested in unfair terms and conditions, particularly in the digital economy,” the CMA said in a statement.
“Companies in the cloud storage and other technology-driven sectors are urged to keep their terms and conditions under review and to continually improve the fairness and clarity of their consumer contract terms.”