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May 20, 2019
Ofcom has published a final Statement on the new rules on end-of-contract notifications and annual best tariff information, which will come into effect on 15 February 2020.
Essentially, broadband, phone and TV customers must be told when their minimum contract period is coming to an end, and must be shown the best deals available.
In short, the new rules state that:
- broadband, mobile, home phone and pay TV companies must notify their residential and business customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end. Residential customers will receive a standalone notification between 10 and 40 days before the end of their contract. The notification will include the date the minimum contract period ends; the services currently provided and the price paid; any changes to the service and price paid at the end of this period; and information about the notice period required to terminate the contract. Business customers will also receive a notification to inform them of the end of their minimum contract period and how they may terminate the contract;
- the notifications will tell residential customers about the best tariffs available from their provider. They will include at least one SIM-only deal for people who bundle the cost of a mobile handset with their airtime. They will also include information on prices available to other customers, such as new customers. This means people can see if they are losing out and should think about switching. Business customers will be provided with best tariff information by their provider in a form suitable for them;
- customers who remain out-of-contract will be given best tariff information by their provider at least annually. For residential customers, this will be an annual notification, which includes information about their current contract, as well as the best tariffs for the services they buy.
Ofcom will monitor the impact of the notifications. For example, it will collect information from providers and conduct customer research on engagement with, and effectiveness of, providers’ notifications. It may also conduct randomised control trials if its monitoring of the notifications show potential for improvements in how providers are implementing the requirements.