Broadband, TV and mobile users to be alerted when contract ends

31 July 2018

Customers with landline, broadband, TV and mobile contracts will be notified when they approach the end of their minimum contract period, under new proposals.

The move is in a bid to prevent customers from automatically falling on to pricey deals when their contract ends.

Telecommunications regulator Ofcom says that more than 20 million customers are outside their minimum contract period, while more than 10 million are on deals with an automatic price increase at the end.

Ofcom says that customers who bundle their landline and broadband services together, for example, 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 or tell users what happens after the contract ends.

But the new alerts would be sent 40 to 70 days before the contract ends using customers’ preferred communication channel, which could be a text message, email or letter in the post.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, comments “We’re concerned many people are paying more than they need to – particularly those who are out of contract.

“Customers have told us they want to be alerted when their phone, TV or broadband contract is coming to an end, and get advice on their options. Under our plans, providers would have to do exactly that.”

The proposals are being consulted on until 9 October, with Ofcom planning to publish its plans by March 2019.

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