Ofcom has announced plans for a consultation on how to protect UK consumers from price rises that happen within fixed-term contracts for landline, broadband and mobile phone services. Current rules insist that communications providers give their customers at least one month’s notice of any significantly detrimental change to their contractual terms.
However, a number of customers and consumer organisations have complained about the potential for price rises in minimum-term contracts. It’s been suggested that service operators shouldn’t be able to increase charges during the initial fixed term without offering customers the ability to cancel without penalty.
The Ofcom consultation is expected to be published later this year. It’ll consider whether price variations in fixed-term contracts are appropriate and will also look at the information provided to consumers at the point of sale.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said “Ofcom understands the frustration that consumers feel when faced with price rises in what they assume to be a fixed contract with a fixed price. Having considered the large number of consumer complaints, we will soon consult on ways to address consumer concerns and ensure they are being treated fairly in this area.”