If you’ve ever been hit by a mid-contract price hike and felt hard done by, today’s news could be of interest to you.
New rights for UK Mobile consumers:
From tomorrow, Ofcom, the UK’s independent regulator and competition authority for the communication industry, has ruled that consumers who have been hit by a price hike mid-contract by their landline, broadband or mobile operator should be allowed to leave the company without fear of being charged for cancelling the contract.
So, if the price is raised mid contract on what you thought was a fixed price contract, you can move your business elsewhere and not be charged because of it. The company in question will have to give you at least one months’ notice about the price increase. If you don’t wish to accept the new price increase, you are within your rights to quit the contract without fear of being penalised.
The downside is that this only applies to contracts taken out after 23/01/2014, but it does show that the rights are swinging back in our favour again.
From tomorrow, consumers and small businesses taking out new landline, broadband or mobile contracts should be allowed to exit them without penalty if their provider increases the monthly subscription price agreed at the point of sale.
This follows a Ofcom review into the fairness of contract price terms. This found that many consumers, in particular, were caught unawares by price rises in what they believed to be fixed price contracts.
Ofcom received over a thousand complaints about mid-contract price hikes between June 2012 and August 2013 which prompted their investigation and final decision made in October last year. The ruling takes effect tomorrow on any new contract with Broadband, Landline or Mobile operators.
The Ofcom website offers the full details.