Consumers to benefit from end-of-contract notifications on telecoms services

Ombudsman Services | Last updated Feb 14, 2020

Phone, broadband and pay-TV customers must be warned when their current contract is ending, and what they could save by signing up to a new deal, under new rules coming into force tomorrow (Saturday 15 February 2020).

Ofcom says around 20 million customers are already out of contract – including 8.8 million broadband customers – and many are paying more than they need to.

The regulator’s new rules mean phone, broadband and pay-TV companies will have to warn customers between 10 and 40 days before their contract comes to an end. These alerts – sent by text, email or letter – must include:

• when your contract is up;

• what you’ve been paying until now, and what you’ll pay when your contract is up;

• any notice period for leaving your provider; and

• your provider’s best deals, including any prices only available to new customers.

Anyone who is already out of contract must also be reminded they are out of contract, and told every year about their firm’s best deals.

Michael Waldron, communications ombudsman at Ombudsman Services, welcomed the introduction of end-of-contract notifications. He said:

“These changes will put more power in the hands of consumers, enabling them to make informed choices and shop around for better deals with confidence.

“They are an important part of Ofcom’s drive to ensure domestic customers and businesses are treated fairly when buying and using telecoms services.

“Anyone who feels the new rules haven’t been followed should contact their provider in the first instance. If the complaint doesn’t get resolved, we might be able to help.”

Read more about the changes on the Ofcom website