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Ofcom moves to block mid-contract price hikes in UK

Germany is up for carrier billing

UK regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation into methods of protecting consumers from mid-contract price increases for fixed, broadband and mobile services. The consultation comes on the heels of a review in which Ofcom studied more than 1,600 consumer complaints in a six-month period about changes in tariffs for what consumers believed were fixed-price contracts.

The regulator is proposing that customers should be allowed to walk away from their service contracts without penalty should their service provider decide to raise the price of the contract during its term.

“This proposed change would address consumer concerns that it is unfair that providers are currently able to raise prices, while they themselves have little choice but to accept the increase or pay a penalty to exit the contract,” Ofcom said in a statement. “Ofcom would also expect providers to be transparent about the potential for price increases so consumers can make an informed choice when entering the contract.”

Ofcom added that it had considered a blanket ban on price rises in fixed contracts but thought that such a move might be a breach of European legal frameworks.


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