Customers could now save massively on household contracts with Ofcom's latest intervention.
As of next week, firms will be forced to tell customers when they come to the end as new rules emerge from communications watchdog Ofcom.
The changes come after Ofcom found more than 20 million households have passed their initial contract period - and are still locked into expensive rolling plans.
After February 15, everyone from your phone network provider to your TV service will also have to let you know about any changes in price that are about to kick in - as well as what their top deal is.
It's a move that could prevent millions of people sleepwalking into higher charges.
Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said: “Ofcom has intervened to get those who don’t shop around a better deal, with providers pledging to cap rates for those out of contract and stop preferential rates being offered just to new customers."
Current figures also show that one in seven customers don’t know whether they are still tied to their original deal; and around one in eight believe they are 'in contract', but don’t know when this period ends
Suter said: “What you’ll be offered depends on your provider, but will all be in place by March 2020. After February, providers will also have to warn customers if they are out of contract.
“While these changes will save you money, you’ll still save more by switching to a better deal once your contract ends. Or if that’s too much hassle then call your current provider and haggle over the cost.”
The new alerts coming from February 15
From February, telecoms and pay TV companies will have write to their customers 10 to 40 days before their contract comes to an end, to warn them that it's expiring.
These alerts can be sent by text, email or letter and must include:
People who choose to stay with their provider without signing up to a new contract will be sent a reminder every year about their firm’s best deals.
Lindsey Fussell, at Ofcom, said: "We're making sure customers are treated fairly, by making companies give them the information they need, when they need it.
"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."