The UK Mobile phone operator’s “systematic scam” of overcharging customers has been dealt another blow with new rules announced by Ofcom.
The regulations, which will require operators to send out notifications by text, email or post, have been designed to promote transparency around end of contract dates and best available deals.
The notification will need to be sent between 10 and 40 days before the end of the customer’s current contract period, with a deadline for implementation for relevant companies set for 15 February 2020.
In addition to outlining when users can switch their current contract without penalty, the notifications will need to include current price being paid, changes to the contract or service that will be automatically implemented post-contract-end-date and the best alternatives available.
Billmonitor MD Klaus Henke says: “This is very good news and something we have been advocating for a long time. Billmonitor always informs customers about their contract end date, and it is great to see that this responsibility will now fall to the networks as standard.”
But, does it really matter?
In short, yes. Ofcom has noted that more than 20-million people have unknowingly continued with subscriptions beyond their end-date. This is a staggering number, especially considering that customers can typically cut the cost of their mobile phone bills by an average of 40%, or £122 annually, as per Billmonitor’s 2018 research report. In case a user does not require a new handset, the savings can be even more substantial.
Savings in real life
According to the latest Ofcom Communications Market Report, which was released in August 2018, the average monthly mobile data per active connection is just 1.9 GB, with consumers often paying over the odds for data they do not use. So, customers looking to reduce spend could do so by reducing their allowance to a more appropriate level.
- A recent Billmonitor customer did just that, saving £34.21/month by reducing their 30GB to an 8GB contract, while staying on the same network. They had only been using 4 or 5GB/month but paying for 30 GB, which helped bring their monthly cost down from £52 to £17.79, a saving of 65%.
- Another avenue to consider is your current handset, and whether you need to upgrade, or if you can opt for a SIM Only deal. Following a network switch, and a move to a SIM Only deal, another Billmonitor client was able to save a staggering £59.12/month or 80% (from £73.81 to £14.69).
Can’t wait to save?
Before the new rules are implemented and notifications take away the guess work, there are key things to be aware of when it comes to your contract, with the biggest saving options to be found in data usage versus allowance, and handset choice. If you don’t know what your end-of-contract date is, check your app or account, give your network a call, or run a Billmonitor analysis.