Ofcom has launched an industry-wide probe into whether in-contract price rises were set out clearly enough by big telecom firms.
After analysing customer complaints and preliminary evidence, the watchdog expressed concern that some companies had not been transparent enough about price spikes during customer contracts.
Under Ofcom rules, providers must set out any future changes “prominently and transparently” when the contract was first signed.
The new enforcement programme will scrutinise providers’ sales practices and customer contract information.
“As millions of people are having to deal with rising household bills, it is more important than ever that telecoms companies don’t shirk their responsibilities and keep customers fully informed about what they are signing up to,” Ofcom’s Networks and Communications Group Director Lindsey Fussell said.
Director of Policy at Citizens Advice Matthew Upton praised Ofcom’s move, but said it should really aim for telecoms firms cancelling mid-contract price rises altogether.
“Customers are already facing £2.5billion worth of price hikes across mobile and broadband next year. This underlines why the government and Ofcom need to protect us from further higher prices in the future,” Upton said.
Earlier this year, Citizens Advice found millions of mobile and broadband customers face £2.5 billion price hikes in 2023.