Vodafone moves to 2 year contracts for its superfast service
Vodafone on its VDSL2/FTTC products has changed from an 18 month minimum term to 24 month minimum term. This change does not affect existing customers, only those signing up since the change happened.
This change has been communicated as a positive one because it means you will have a fixed price for 24 months rather than the previous 18 months. We don't take the same view as it seems daft to have a minimum term that is the same length as a good number of new car leases.
With the big changes expected across the UK once building work gets back up to full speed after the COVID-19 lockdown is over in terms of masses more full fibre and Gigabit services locking yourself into a single provider for two years is a tough call. In cases where you know what price they will charge for full fibre when it arrives it is a reasonable gamble e.g. if in a CityFibre Gigabit City and you know the build is coming to you jumping to Vodafone now makes some sense as you can upgrade easily.
We did have some worries around the end of contract notification process that Ofcom launched in 2020 around what providers might do, and extending the minimum term is one of those worries. 24 months is the maximum contract length allowed by Ofcom and for fixed line services where the minimum term from the supplier is actually only 1 month we believe should investigate to see if providers can reasonably justify such long contracts. One solution might be to force providers to offer short and long term options, i.e. 24 months for those that want price certainty but shorter 6 month contracts much better suited to those renting and moving regularly.