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Ofcom announce cheaper charges for consumers to end phone contracts
Thursday 17 June 2010 15:35:30 by John Hunt

In 2008 Ofcom stated that they believe that under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 that consumers should never have to pay more than that payments left due on a contract and should often pay less than this based on cost savings to providers from not having to provide the service due to the contract ending early. After working with the UK's 3 largest landline providers, Ofcom says that consumers could save up to 85% following changes announced today, and the cheaper termination charges will also apply where broadband is bundled in the same package.

Ofcom provide a table of popular packages from BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media which details the new monthly cost for ending the contract early. Users on BT Weekend for example used to pay £11.54 per month if cancelled within the minimum contract term but this has now been reduced to just £2 per month. TalkTalk Evening and Weekend has reduced from £14.44 to £3 and Virgin Media's Broadband L (on cable) will reduce from £12.50 a month to £9 a month.

We hope Ofcom continue this valuable work by looking similarly at the mobile phone networks and early termination charges.

Comments

Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
well done ofcom!
Posted by adaley over 6 years ago
Some are actually worse off (TalkTalk customers being the main group I'm thinking of). Their previous practice was to cap early termination at £70. Now you are charged £8/mo or £13.50/mo if you have a broadband + phone product.

That's £135 for TalkTalk Pro customer who was to cancel with 10month remaining. That's over double the cost. An essentials customer with 10month remaining will be charged £10 extra. And those cancelling with over 10month remaining will be charged much more.
Posted by adaley over 6 years ago
Almost double the cost, even.
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
Far too late, too late Ofcom. Should have done that ages ago.
Posted by MCM999 over 6 years ago
@adaley
Is there anything to say that TalkTalk & VM won't continue to cap early termination payments as at present?
Posted by mattbibby over 6 years ago
Waste of time, long term service costs will be increased across the board to help fund this income gap created by OFCOM.

Sometimes I really do struggle to come up with reasons why the government shouldn't cut this department. It's failed to deliver and make any decisions in a timely fashion.

Just look at the Digital Britain etc... should of all been ironed out years ago.
Posted by EnglishRob over 6 years ago
Does this just apply to residential customers or business customers as well?

What about the smaller providers out there (who resell BT Wholesale services)?

Rob
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
are they talking about ending contracts early? this would then effectively make long term contracts worthless if I have read it correctly and yes those companies who rely on these contracts will obviously counter it.
Posted by audioslim over 6 years ago
About time as well.

I've just had this exact issue with BT.
BT wont to tie me up to a 12 month contract (already a BT customer), and will give me evening and weekend calls free, a saving of £3 quid a month.
If I leave within the 12 months they think they can charge me £12 quid for each month.

Jokers the lot of them!.

Slim
Posted by CaptainW over 6 years ago
I agree, far too late, however it may make providers (may I said ;%) value custom and the service they provide if people can walk away half way through a contract because a better deal comes along
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