Ofcom has begun an inquiry into mid-contract price rises, the outcome of which might mean you could ditch your phone and internet contracts mid-term without paying the penalties.
As it stands, mobile phone, landline and internet service providers can increase the price of your contract at any point, as long as they send you a warning letter one month in advance. Ofcom deems this unfair, and is proposing that users get the option to cut loose from their contracts without having to buy out the remainder, in the event of a such a price increase.
The consultation will be open until 14 March 2013, with Ofcom inviting input from the companies involved. It's not a big stretch of the imagination to think that service providers might not be too keen on the changes, but Ofcom is also proposing some other solutions.
One suggestion is that mid-contract price rises could simply be banned. Another is that consumers could sign up to variable-rate contracts in which this kind of practice is possible and allowable. What we think is that if the providers want to keep their price increase option, then users should also be able to change the agreed price mid-contract. From this month, we'd like to pay £10 each 30 days instead of £25.
Expect to hear a decision on the matter from Ofcom in June 2013.
If you'd like to add your views to Ofcom, head over to Which?.