On 3 January, Ofcom began a consultation on how to protect consumers from price rises during fixed term contracts for telephony and broadband, having received a substantial number of complaints from consumers. The consultation follows a review into the fairness of certain contract terms and runs in parallel with an ongoing investigation into communications providers’ compliance with General Condition 9 (the requirement to provide certain minimum contract terms). Ofcom propose to introduce a new provision in General Condition 9 that would oblige communications providers to give their consumer and small business customers at least one month’s notice of any price increases (apart from increases required by law or regulation). Although most of the complaints Ofcom have received have been directed at mobile operators, Ofcom’s proposal would apply to fixed telephony and broadband providers as well. On 16 January, Ofcom published additional data on price rises further to those published at the consultation’s commencement. The consultation closes on 14 March 2013.

For more information, please go to: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/price-rises-fixed-contracts/