A BEVY of Brit ISPs have pledged fairer pricing for long-standing customers after Ofcom found that new subscribers were getting better deals.
The telecoms watchdog says that around 40 per cent of broadband customers - some 8.8 million punters - are out of contract and paying over the odds, while those who sign up to a new deal typically find themselves paying an average of £8-9 less.
As a result of these findings, which Ofcom warns particularly affects vulnerable customers who are unlikely to negotiate a better deal, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have committed to fairer pricing for out-of-contract customers.
As per Ofcom:
- BT, Sky and TalkTalk will allow out-of-contract customers to get the same deals as new customers when they take out a new contract.
- The difference that any of Sky's newly contracted customers will pay when their contract ends is no more than £5 per month. From February, BT will cap the difference that existing in-contract customers pay when their contracts expire - it will confirm the amount of this cap soon.
- BT customers who can't access superfast broadband will no longer pay more than entry-level superfast customers. And BT will provide a one-off automatic price reduction for vulnerable customers who are currently out of contract on more expensive deals.
- TalkTalk and Virgin Media will carry out annual price reviews with their vulnerable customers to ensure they are on the best deal for their needs, providing automatic discounts where appropriate if customers do not respond.
These changes will come into effect by March 2020, according to the regulator. And from February, broadband customers must also be told when their contract is coming to an end and shown the best deals available.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said: "Broadband customers who are out of contract can make big savings - around £100 a year on average - by picking up the phone to their current provider and signing up to a better deal.
"And in future, everyone will be told about the best tariff on offer. Thanks to the commitments we've secured from major broadband firms, many customers - including the most vulnerable - will pay less." µ
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