Ofcom has proposed new rules to assist customers of landline, broadband, TV and mobile services from over-charging.
The new guidelines will ask UK-based telecom operators to tell their customers when they approach the end of their minimum contract period.
More than 20 million customers are outside their minimum contract period, and more than 10 million are on deals with an automatic price increase at the end. Millions of customers could be paying more than they need to.
Customers who bundle their landline and broadband services pay, on average, around 20 percent more when they are out of contract.
Most telecom service providers do not remind their customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end. They do they even explain what will happen after the contract ends.
The notification from telecom operators should inform customers of any changes to their price or services and let them know their options, including that they could save money, Ofcom said.
Providers would be required to send a one-off out-of-contract notification to all existing customers whose initial contract has ended, and who weren’t given this information at the time.
The alerts should use the customer’s preferred communication channel, which could be a text message, email or paper letter.
Under Ofcom’s proposals, notifications should be sent to all residential and small-business customers who use services including landline, broadband, pay TV and mobile. TSPs need to send notifications 40-70 days before the contract ends.