August 6, 2018
Ofcom is consulting on proposed new rules that communication service providers must tell customers of landline, broadband, TV and mobile services when they approach the end of their minimum contract period.
Ofcom says that more than 20 million customers are outside their minimum contract period, and more than 10 million are on deals with an automatic price increase at the end. As a result, millions of customers could be paying more than they need to. For example, customers who bundle their landline and broadband services pay, on average, around 20% more when they are out of contract.
Currently, most providers do not remind their customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end. Nor do they explain what will happen after the contract ends.
Ofcom is therefore proposing that providers must notify their customers when their contract is coming to an end. The notification would inform them of any changes to their price or services and let them know their options, including that they could save money.
Providers would also be required to send a one-off “out-of-contract” notification to all existing customers whose initial contract has ended, and who were not given this information at the time.
The alerts should use the customer’s preferred communication channel, which could be a text message, email or paper letter.
The consultation is open until 9 October 2018. To access the consultation, click here.