Telecommunications providers have a reputation for keeping their best offers from their customers, resulting in millions paying more than they have to for their bills.
However, this is set to come to an end as new Ofcom rules stipulate that companies must inform customers when their contract is coming to an end and if any new deals are available.
According to the regulator, 20 million customers are out of contract and, therefore, paying over the odds for their broadband or telephone bills. While 25,000 broadband contracts end daily, 16 per cent of bill payers do not know if they are one of these, with this figure rises to more than a fifth of those over 55.
Ofcom’s consumer group director Lindsey Fussell said: “Millions of people are out of contract right now and paying more than they need to. These new rules make it easier to grab a better deal.”
According to the new legislation, phone, broadband and pay-TV companies have to inform customers ten to 40 days before their contract is due to end, as well as details regarding their current fee, their rolling tariff, their best deals, and the notice period for leaving.
This could save customers up to £150 per year, as they could secure a better deal with another provider. It could even mean customers can upgrade to a higher-speed package while still paying less than their current charges.
Last month, Ofcom revealed customers would be able to compare phone and broadband companies much more easily, thanks to easy-to-understand scorecards. These will provide analysis on how much customers typically pay for their broadband, pay-TV and phone services.
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