United Kingdom

Ofcom to save broadband customers £100-a-year

Broadband, pay TV and phone giants must warn customers when contracts come to an end from today – which could save customers hundreds of pounds a year.

Regulator Ofcom is introducing rules that mean companies must alert customers when their contract is ending and provide details of their cheapest deals.

On average customers could save £100 a year by agreeing a new deal once their contract ends, with some saving £150 a year or more depending on their provider, Ofcom has said. The changes mean that anyone who is already out of contract must be reminded about this every year and be told about their firm’s best deals.

On average customers could save £100 a year by agreeing a new deal once their contract ends, with some saving £150 a year or more depending on their provider,

Every day 25,000 broadband customers come to the end of their contract, usually leading to an automatic price rise

Ofcom hopes the move will trigger consumers to switch to a cheaper deal or shop around and change provider.

Consumer director at Ofcom 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.’

The regulator says that around 20million customers are already out of contract – including 8.8million broadband customers.

And every day 25,000 broadband customers come to the end of their contract, usually leading to an automatic price rise.

Ofcom found that around three million out-of-contract broadband customers could actually upgrade to a higher-speed package with their provider and pay less than they do now. And 1.4million mobile customers could save £75 on average a year – for some it could be up to £150 – by switching to a cheaper SIM-only package once their contract ends.

Miss Fussell added: ‘You don’t need to wait to hear from your provider. Just a few minutes of your time could save you hundreds of pounds.’

Natalie Hitchins, from Which?, said: ‘This rule change to ensure people are notified before their contract ends – and potentially before their bills go up – is a positive step.’