Ofcom offers charge guide

December 22, 2008

A lot has been going on in the broadband marketplace on the subject of pricing.

Ofcom and the internet service providers have been attempting to come to some solution on a number of pricing issues and in particular the problem with hidden costs that was highlighted last week.

The proposals from Ofcom are as follows:

    Non-direct debit charges should be clear and should only be for the cost of dealing with the payment when these aren’t included in the price for the services being bought;
    a limit of £1.50 per bill should be charged for itemised billing;
    charges for late payments should only include direct costs that can be identified - the extra cost of collecting the money for example;
    consumers who end contracts early should never be charged more than the payments left under the contract, and in some cases they should pay less if the provider saves money because the contract ends early;
    Ofcom also said that fixed-term contracts that renew automatically could be unfair if they do not give consumers something of benefit in return for the renewal, as well as a fair chance to opt-out.

The problem is that customers very rarely read the terms and conditions of the contract.


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