NEW Ofcom rules mean customers get clearer contract information upfront
Telecoms customers must now be provided with a simple one-page summary of the main contract terms before entering a contract.
- Clear examples of how any price increases will affect the price they pay.
- Key information about the speed of the service, price, and length of the contract.
- Terms and conditions if a customer decides to end their contract early.
- Bundled contract summaries can run to no more than three pages.
This is designed to help people avoid being caught out by surprise price rises, at a time when household budgets are under heavy strain.
Customers with disabilities will be able to make a request to receive the documents in an accessible format.
Some providers offer deals that include a price rise linked to inflation that takes effect during the contract. Information if the increase uses an inflation index CPI or RPI, then providers should use the most recent figure for the example.
From today, customers who take out a new contract with firms that use this calculation are required to provide a straightforward example to the customer of how this is likely to affect the price they will pay in pounds and pence.
Ofcom is also making it easier for customers to exit their contract if a provider makes any changes to their terms that were not agreed to when they signed up.
For instance, if a provider increases the charge for paper billing, those customers that use the service would need to be notified a month in advance about the change and offered the right to exit, penalty free.
All customers are also to be notified of an increase in their late payment charge on the same basis.