Broadband, TV and mobile customers get help saving £150-a-year
It's a victory for broadband, home phone, mobile and pay TV customers as they will now be reminded when their current deals are coming to an end in a bid to save users more than £150-a-year.
As things stand, providers don't have to remind customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end or explain what will happen after.
This means people are likely to continue on a monthly rolling deal and face price increases or changes to their original deal.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom says around 20million customers are already out of contract with many spending more than they need to.
But under the new rules, which come into force tomorrow (February 15), telecoms providers must tell bill payers between ten and 40 days before their contract comes to an end.
They can do this via a text message, email or letter.
In the message, they'll need to tell people when their contact is up, what they have been paying until now, as well as the price they can expect to pay once their contract is over.
The notification must also state any notice period for leaving the provider, the best deals available, and reveal any prices only available to new customers.
Anyone already out of contract must also be sent a reminder every year of the best options on offer.
Ofcom reckons the average broadband customer could save around £100 a year as a result of the changes, though some could save £150 or more.
While it found mobile users could save £75 a year on average by switching to cheaper Sim-only deals, although again, some could save as much as £150.
And these figures don't include the savings people could make on their TV package too.
Ofcom also believes around 3million people could pay less by upgrading to a faster broadband package too.
But you don't need to wait to hear from your provider to act - if you're out of contract, use a price comparison tool such as BroadbandChoices to check if you can switch and save.
You can usually still switch if you're in contract but the problem is you'll likely be charged hefty early exit penalties that will wipe out any gain from moving.
"Millions of people are out of contract right now and paying more than they need to," said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director.
Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at consumer group Which?, said: “If you think you may be out of contract, paying too much or are not happy with your current service, you don’t need to wait for a notification.
"You might find you save yourself hundreds of pounds a year if you haggle or switch now.”
While mobile users can also now save money by switching provider using just a text.
Mobile firms have also been banned from selling locked handsets as part of plans to make switching easier.
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