Ofcom enforces Telecoms and TV firms to tell customers about their best deals.
Under the new rules announced by Ofcom, Broadband, phone and pay-TV firms must tell you when your contract is coming to an end, and must also tell you about their best available deals.
The regulator said “We want you to have choice when it comes to your broadband, phone and TV package, and also want you to be able to get the deal that best suits your needs. You could do this by switching provider or by agreeing a new deal with your current one.
To help you do this, broadband, TV, mobile and home phone companies must now send you information about your contract, when you need it, so you can choose the best package for your needs. These protections are the latest in Ofcom’s Fairness for customers programme.”
According to Ofcom, more than 20 million customers have gone beyond their initial contract period meaning many are left paying more than they should.
“People who bundle their landline and broadband services together pay, on average, around 20% more when they are out of contract. This rises to 26% among customers who bundle their pay-TV with these two services.
Around one in seven customers (14%) don’t know whether they are still tied to their original deal; and around one in eight (12%) believe they are still in contract, but don’t know when that contract ends.”
What happends next?
Telecoms and Pay-TV companies must now warn consumers 10 to 40 days before their contract comes to an end. Customers will be alerted via text, letter or an email.
The regulator says that the emails will include:
- when the contract ends;
- the price paid before this date;
- any changes to the service and price paid at the end of the contract;
- information about any notice period required to end the contract; and
- the best deals offered by your provider, including telling existing customers what prices are available to new customers.
People who choose to stay with their provider without signing up to a new contract will be sent a reminder every year about their firm’s best deals.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said:“We’re making sure customers are treated fairly, by making companies give them the information they need, when they need it
“This will put power in the hands of millions of people who’re paying more than necessary when they’re no longer tied to a contract.”
The changes will involve providers sending personalised and tailored information to millions of individual customers. To make sure they get this right, companies will have nine months to make the necessary changes to their systems and processes. Customers will start receiving the notifications from 15 February next year.
news source: Ofcom