Ofcom has announced plans to ensure consumers can leave a fixed term mobile, landline or broadband contract without penalty if the provider increases its rates, according to new Guidance set out today.
Under the new rules consumers should be given at least 30 days' notice of intended price rises and should be given the option to exit the contract without being charged, following consultation on how to give consumers a fairer deal.
The guidelines also stipulate that any changes to contract terms must be communicated clearly and transparently, with Ofcom likely to regard any increase to monthly subscription rates as "materially detrimental" to consumers.
Providers are being instructed on how to interpret and apply these new rules from today, with them coming into effect in three months' time. The changes will affect all new landline, broadband and mobile contracts signed up to after this date.
"Ofcom is today making clear that consumers entering into fixed-term telecoms contracts must get a fairer deal [and that] any increase to the monthly subscription price should trigger a consumer's right to leave their contract – without penalty," said Ofcom's consumer group director Claudio Pollack.
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