Ofcom to allow customers to end phone and broadband contracts mid-term
In another show of good sense, Ofcom has confirmed that contracts for phones and broadband supply will be able to be terminated, mid-term, should your network put up the prices before the end date.
Ofcom believes that consumers and small businesses, alike, should be allowed to exit their landline, broadband or mobile contract without penalty if their provider increases the cost of their monthly deal. And who but those providers wouldn’t agree?
Ofcom will be rolling out its guidelines to networks, contract providers and ISPs, forthwith, telling them how they should interpret and apply current telecoms sector rules in relation to price increases during fixed-term contracts.
Ofcom says it is also confirming the cancellation rights it expects providers to give consumers following price increases.
Cancellation guidance being sent to providers right away
This Guidance sets out that:
Ofcom is likely to regard any increase to the recurring monthly subscription charge in a fixed-term contract as ‘materially detrimental’ to consumers;
Providers should therefore give consumers at least 30 days’ notice of any such price rise and allow them to exit their contract without penalty; and
Any changes to contract terms, pricing or otherwise, must be communicated clearly and transparently to consumers.
Guidance comes in to effect 3 months from today.The new Guidance comes into effect three months from today and will only apply to any new contracts entered into after this date.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director said: “Ofcom is today making clear that consumers entering into fixed-term telecoms contracts must get a fairer deal. We think the sector rules were operating unfairly in the provider’s favour, with consumers having little choice but to accept price increases or pay to exit their contract.”
Well played Ofcom!
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