Price hikes should allow customers to leave mid-contract
Customers should be able to leave fixed contracts without penalty if mobile or internet providers introduce any price increases mid-contract, Ofcom has said.
The telecoms regulator has launched a consultation today on how to protect consumers from prise rises during contracts for landlines, broadband and mobile phone services.
Ofcom is proposing customers should be allowed to leave contracts without a charge if providers introduce a price hike. The regulatory body also proposes that providers need to be clear and upfront about any potential price increases and the consumer's right to cancel a contract.
However, price rises in fixed contracts will not be banned altogether as it is not consistent with the European legal framework, the regulator said.
The consultation follows an Ofcom review into the fairness of certain contract terms which looked at more than 1,600 complaints made to the regulator in just nine months about mid-contract price rises.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom's consumer group director, says: "Many consumers have complained to us that they are not made aware of the potential for price rises in what they believe to be fixed contracts."
He added that the aim of the consultation is to give consumers a fair deal.
The consultation closes on 14 March, with a decision expected in June.