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Broadband, phone and TV firms must warn customers before they're out of contract - MSE News

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
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MSE_NaomiMSE_Naomi MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
Broadband, TV, mobile and home phone companies must alert customers before their contracts end and tell them about their best available deals, under new rules announced by the communications watchdog today - but don't rely on this to get you the best deal...
Read the full story:
'Broadband, phone and TV firms must warn customers before they're out of contract'
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  • VT82VT82 Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Particularly useful for mobile contracts these days - lots of providers getting into best buy tables with upfront freebies bringing down the effective monthly cost, rather than having an actual lower monthly cost for the initial year. Of course, this means your payment doesn't change when you are no longer tied in, so you are less likely to notice and haggle/switch.


    I was caught out by this and paid more than I needed to for about 3 months by Three network recently. Good plan. Surprised it's taken this long.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
    0 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    must alert customers before their contracts end

    You mean when their minimum term ends MSE, I'd have thought you lot would have got this bit right at least.

    Is it just me or have MSE's own threads recently been full of mistakes and sometimes just pure nonsense?
  • alinwalesalinwales Forumite
    321 posts
    Has it been asked before why these firms can't operate in the way that energy firms have been forced to, in that with energy you can switch within the last month or so of a contract with no penalty? Especially with home broadband when the switch on date can be any date, you won't know when to terminate with the previous supplier.
  • boatmanboatman Forumite
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    "Service providers will need to text, email or send a letter to their consumers between 10 to 40 days before their contracts come to an end"


    10 days, really!!?? You normally need to give at lest 30 days notice to leave, so surely they should be giving more than 30 days notice not 10.
  • brewerdavebrewerdave Forumite
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    Might make deals harder to come by ,as the likes of Sky must make £££s from customers who don't notice that their "introductory" discount has ended.
  • TakmonTakmon Forumite
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    It's not something i will find very useful because i just put a reminder in my digital calendar and then i know when it's time to review the deal and shop around.

    If people can't even be bothered to set a reminder when the contract is ending they can't be that worried about being on the best deal so i'm not sure how useful these letters/emails will be.
  • tgroom57tgroom57 Forumite
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    Takmon wrote: »
    If people can't even be bothered to set a reminder when the contract is ending they can't be that worried about being on the best deal so i'm not sure how useful these letters/emails will be.


    These alerts/emails/letters will be very useful.
    For instance, if the customer has previously been told they will be on a rolling contract (where the price stays the same after the minimum period) but the company thinks they are on a minimum contract with a price rise after. These alerts will save a lot of bother all round, and can't come soon enough.

  • tgroom57tgroom57 Forumite
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    boatman wrote: »
    "Service providers will need to text, email or send a letter to their consumers between 10 to 40 days before their contracts come to an end"


    Note to Ombudsman : should read "Service providers will need to text, email and send a letter to their consumers.." because texts cost nothing, emails can and do land in junk folders, and we are talking about an increase in the Direct Debit here. Under Direct Debit rules any change must be notified, and just notifying the change on a web portal is not enough- it should be in writing/hardcopy.

  • TakmonTakmon Forumite
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    tgroom57 wrote: »
    These alerts/emails/letters will be very useful.
    For instance, if the customer has previously been told they will be on a rolling contract (where the price stays the same after the minimum period) but the company thinks they are on a minimum contract with a price rise after. These alerts will save a lot of bother all round, and can't come soon enough.
    tgroom57 wrote: »
    Note to Ombudsman : should read "Service providers will need to text, email and send a letter to their consumers.." because texts cost nothing, emails can and do land in junk folders, and we are talking about an increase in the Direct Debit here. Under Direct Debit rules any change must be notified, and just notifying the change on a web portal is not enough- it should be in writing/hardcopy.

    Like you say customers will already be informed of any prices rises so i don't see the point of also informing them of when the minimum term ends when it's so easy to just put this in a calendar as a reminder. Even if the price did rise then this is easily spotted on a bank statement and a complaint can be put in if you were told the price wouldn't rise (but I've never had a price rise without being informed).

    Texts do cost money (although not very much when sent in bulk). But personally i like to get all my communication by email because then it's all stored in one place and easily searched for at a later date. If your organised with your email account you will never miss any emails.

    I also strongly disagree that companies should be sending more letters, they take longer to deal with and are a complete waste of resources considering we have much better digital ways of sending information.
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