Ofcom, the UK’s communications’ regulator, has said that consumers and small businessesshould be able to cancel their mobile, broadband or landline contracts without being penalized, if the provider increases the cost of their subscription.
The statement confirms that further legislation shouldn’t be required to action this – it’s all about how existing telecoms rules are interpreted, which Ofcom is offering guidance on. It states: “Ofcom is likely to regard any increase to the recurring monthly subscription charge in a fixed-term contract as ‘materially detrimental’ to consumers.”
As such, providers should give you at least 30 days’ notice of any price rise, and allow you to exit your contract hassle-free. The new Guidance takes effect in late January, 2014, though it remains to be seen whether providers will challenge this new interpretation.