Over 20 million people have stuck with subscriptions without realising their lock-in period had passed. New rules will help customers switch contracts in advance.
Communications watchdog Ofcom has introduced new rules which put an end to companies automatically renewing customer’s accounts.
What’s this story about?
Up until now, companies could automatically renew a customer’s contract without warning. Now, internet and phone companies will need to send an alert to their customers – and also tell them about alternative deals which could be cheaper.
These alerts will be sent by text, email or letter and will be sent between 10-40 days before their contract ends. The alert will include:
- Contract end date
- The price paid before this date
- Any changes to the price or service at the end of the deal
- Information about how to cancel the contract
- The best deals offered by that company and what prices are available to new customers
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Director, said:
“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.”
What does this mean for you?
According to Ofcom, if you bundle your landline and broadband services together, you’d be paying an average of around 20% more once your initial contract has passed. And if you throw your TV package in too, you could expect to see a rise of 26% once you’re ‘out of contract’.
Having this information to hand before your contract ends will give you more power to swap packages and save valuable cash.
Our key tips
To make sure you’re getting the best value for money, it’s worth following these top tips:
- Compare prices online with the company’s competitors to see if you can get a better deal
- Don’t be afraid to haggle with your supplier to see if they’ll knock some money off for you – if you’ve found a lower quote from their competitor, they may want to beat it
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