British telecoms regulator OfCom has announced its intention to push for a law change on current mobile contracts. It wants it to be possible for consumers to leave their mobile, landline or broadband provider mid-contract, if said provider raises prices at all.
As it stands, consumers are only allowed to leave without paying a fee if their contract has been changed to their ‘material detriment’. According to OfCom, this is too vague and open to interpretation, so it's pushing for a rules change and clarification.
This was all determined after an OfCom report where it examined customer complains and found many were related to mid-contract price hikes that couldn't be avoided because people were locked in. As Tech Crunch points out, all British mobile providers have raised their prices in recent months, likely leading to similar complains as the ones found in OfCom's survey.
One consideration being put forward by the regulatory body, is more contract transparency, where providers would have to offer different packages with fixed or variable price packages – similar to energy providers. This way people could perhaps pay a little more for a fixed price term, or risk their contract bumping up over time.
At the very least, it believes consumers need to be made aware that their contract may rise throughout it's time.
KitGuru Says: Have any of you guys been caught out by the mobile price increases?