From February 15, broadband providers will actually be required to let you know when your contract is up – and how you could save money with a better deal.
According to research by Ofcom, 25,000 broadband customers approach the end of their contracts every day – usually leading to an automatic price rise.
Phone, broadband and pay-TV companies will now be forced to notify customers when their contracts are about to expire in an effort to protect the 20 million users found to be out of contract and paying more than they need to across the UK.
16% of these customers have no idea that they are still in contracts, including 21% of over-55s. Additionally, three million out-of-contract broadband customers could upgrade to a higher-speed package with their same provider for less than they pay now.
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Broadband companies will now be required to notify customers that their contracts are coming to an end by text, email or letter between 10 and 40 days before that date.
These alerts must include the following information:
- When the contract is due to end
- What you’ve been paying until now and what you’ll pay once the contract is up
- Any notice period for leaving your provider
- Your provider’s top deals, including prices available to new customers
These alerts will also be sent to those already out of their contracts, along with yearly updates with the provider’s best deals. The new rules come into force under Ofcom on February 15.
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“Millions of people are out of contract right now and paying more than they need to,” said Ofcom consumer group director Lindsey Fussell. “These new rules make it easier to grab a better deal. But you don’t need to wait to hear from your provider. Just a few minutes of your time could save you hundreds of pounds today.”
This move comes as a part of Ofcom’s #InOrOut campaign to encourage users to check up on the status of their contract and help them to secure the best deal possible.
You can visit Ofcom’s advice hub now to find out if your broadband provider is overcharging you and where you can get a better deal.