Skip Navigation

Ofcom review 'additional charges'
Thursday 07 June 2007 13:03:05 by John Hunt

Ofcom has launched an industry wide review of what are known as 'additional charges', made by mobile phone, TV, broadband and telecommunications providers. This covers charges made for:

  • Not paying by direct debit
  • Late payment
  • Having service restored after it has been restricted or suspended following late payment
  • Early termination

The review was launched following complaints from consumers on the above, and will look at consumers' views and awareness on these, examining the transparency, and how fair the charges are. This could work both ways for consumers. Depending on findings, any hidden charges could be shown as unfair, and removed, but it could result in a higher overall monthly charge to cover the revenue lost by these previous charges. Price transparency is vitally important to ensure consumers know how much they are paying, and to help them make the right choice of provider, particularly in areas of high competition such as the broadband market.


Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
So Ofcom are bothered about an ISP charging for late payment but not about those deliberately mis-selling an 'unlimited' service to the masses (i.e. AOL, Pipex, Orange, Tiscali, BT)......

Posted by jimmythesecond over 9 years ago
While this is a postive step in principle, in practice it rarely changes anything to the real benefit of the customer.

If OFCOM do force providers to withdraw these unfair charges, such as for DD, all that will happen is that the companies involved will cover the loss of this income by raising prices in other areas.

This may be fairer but usually means everyone is worse off.

Sad but true....
Posted by jimmythesecond over 9 years ago
OOOPS!! - Just realised the entire point I made was covered in the main article.

Please ignore it. :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Lets hope it turns out to be more than just a review and something is actually done. The amount people such as Virgin and BT charge extra for payment by NON-direct debit is vastly disproportionate to the extra it costs them to process the payment. As an example Virgin charge £5 more per month for NON-direct debit customers, there is no way in hell it costs them £5 extra per customer paying by say a credit card to process.
Posted by g-bhxu over 9 years ago
Surely this is a matter for The Office Of Fair Trading rather than OFCOM?

But, according to The Price Indications (Method of Payment) Regulations 1991, it is perfectly legal to charge differing amounts for the same thing as long as the prices are shown for each method of payment used.

Does this therefore make it illegal for AOL to charge the extra £10 for non-LLU broadband?

I agree that OFCOM should really be investigating the use of "unlimited broadband" with a Fair Use Policy.
Posted by jrawle over 9 years ago
As with the current trend of re-claiming bank charges, all this will do is increase the price for everyone. The fuss was kicked up when BT changed their non-DD line rental charge (and they are not the worst by any means, cf. Virgin) - it was only actually increased by 50p a month, but because they starting calling is a penalty instead of a discount for DD, the media went crazy! As g-bhxu pointed out, it's perfectly legal to charge for different payment methods. So unlike bank charges, there's no hope of anyone claiming money back!
Posted by andykcole over 9 years ago
the entire nation should go on strike for double wages...
Posted by Vigilant1 over 9 years ago
Historically, strikes solve nothing & often hit & hurt the innocent.
Posted by greenoaks over 9 years ago
Wasn't it all a lot better when Cambridge Cable and it's management team wher in charge. They were great. Now we're in a larger organisation who cares, certainly not Virgin there just usless bankers. They now have the gall to start charging 235p a minute as of next month for Broadband support. Up until Virgin took over I've never needed support. Virgin take over, and in the last two weeks I've had to call them twice. Coincidence????
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.