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Compulsory notification of end of contract

Jonpe
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Compulsory notification of end of contract

Has this already been reported here?  If so feel free to lock this entry.

Not sure where it should be so feel free to move it.

News headline today:  Ofcom:  Firms must notify customers of contract end

The proposal is that between 70 and 40 days before the contract ends providers must provide notification to their customers.

It is thought "Broadband customers pay an average £113 loyalty penalty per year if they do not switch" (Research by Citizens Advice)

 

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198kHz
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

Ofcom announced the idea in April, and have just put their proposals out for consultation - until 9 October.

With a bit of luck, then, it will happen some time next year.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/end-of-contract-notifications

Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

Moderator's note:

Moved from My Account/Billing to General Chat where it is more appropriate.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

Come the day it will be - Hey look we have listened to our customers and will now be blah blah blah. We go the extra mile no effort is spared nothing is too much.

Instead of - We will now be blah blah blah because we have to and if it was left up to us we wouldn't.

blah blah blah = whatever they are forced to do

 

Kimberlin
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

Companies undoubtedly do not put themselves out to let customers know that their contract is coming to an end or is already out of contract because quite simply, it doesn't make any business sense for them to do so. I suspect few businesses would want to voluntarily advise its customers that they might be able to get a cheaper deal elsewhere. Switching websites, national advertising and Official Regulatory bodies have undoubtedly made things a bit of nightmare for lots of companies as people finally wake up and become more savvy and actually bother to shop around for better deals. Admittedly, there are still plenty of 'loyal' customers out there who either just cannot be bothered to check what their contract status is, or have so much money they aren't bothered how much they are paying (I have a family member who is like this, doesn't matter how much money he can save, he's simply not bothered because he's minted), or switching is just too much hassle for them or they are genuinely 'happy' with every aspect of the service provided and so have no need to look elsewhere. I have no such qualms, I'm happy to switch year in, year out and grab those 'new customer deals' that are probably being subsidised by those who are 'comfortable' with their lot.

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

I don’t really know what having notice of my contract coming to an end would give me, I came to Plusnet on a recommendation and I was very impressed the first time I needed service, as IIRC it was in the evening and I got through on the phone quickly and my issue was acknowledged and dealt with in a matter of minutes.

Move on a few years and contact is not as easy as it was, the service provided is not as personal, but it remains to be the best service I’ve ever had from an ISP and because of that, and that alone, I will remain loyal to Plusnet on the assumption that that loyalty is reciprocal. I would rather pay a bit extra (even though I don't think I am) knowing that if I do need service I will get it in a timely manner and not be bounced from pillar to post like some of the other ISP’s I’ve used.

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

I haven't read through all the documentation, but if this notification has to be sent in writing - it just means the prices for everyone will be increased to compensate won't it?

Shame - I should have bought shares in a lettering company had I known. Note to the Police that is a joke I am not suggesting insider trading of course. Tongue

On the whole I am happy with PlusNet, but like everything I deal with I have had a moan at times. I guess most people don't even know if they are even on a contract - and who really reads the whole T&C's unless you work for law and you are paid to read and write it?

Jonpe
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

I read it in the Metro newspaper and the article says, "The alerts could be by text message, email or letter."

So I assume the customers' preferred contact option will be used.  Notification by phone is not mentioned, possibly because it would be difficult to prove in case of a dispute.

Kimberlin
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

For me, an email regarding end of contract date would suffice as I've gone paperless on just about everything. Rarely does the postman visit my door these days with 'paper' mail of any sort, other than the advertising garbage that Royal Mail seem to like shoving through the letterbox, even when you've opted out of 'junk' mail. Also, I'm now one of the many customers that just no longer use a landline telephone at home, I don't even have a telephone plugged into the Master Socket, I haven't for years simply because I don't need a landline phone for anything. Even at my grand 'middle age', it's Whatsapp a lot of the time, or Facetime using the internet.

It's interesting reading the comment that most people probably don't know they're even on a contract. Maybe I'm just a bit thorough, but if you're signing up for anything, then surely you must have an idea of exactly what you're signing up to? With 'phone contracts, energy contracts etc, when you're signing up online, there are certainly enough tick boxes that redirect the customer to either a 'Key Facts' page or Terms and Conditions, ultimately, it's whether the individual entering the contract can actually be bothered to read the info. This will invariably always include the 14 day 'cooling off' period. Yup, some of us are incredibly, uttterly boring and will read the T's and C's before signing up.

My long standing gripe with telecoms companies is that they don't actually appear to make it clear anywhere when your exact contract date ends. When I switched from BT a few weeks back, no where on my bill summary could I clearly see the exact day my contract was due to end, I had to make the effort to work out exactly the day I could switch back to Plusnet without incurring any penalites. I even ended up on BT's 'live chat' service where it was like pulling teeth to actually get the customer service rep wherever it was they were in the world, to actually type the date my contract ended. I had to frame my question in such as way as the CS rep had little choice but to type the date instead of wanting me to get in touch with the retentions department. To be fair to BT though, they did a couple of weeks before my contract was due to end, when I logged into my online account, they did offer a reduced monthly payment if I stayed with them, but they still didn't make it clear when the contract end date was. Unfortunately, that incentive to remain 'loyal' by staying, meant that I would still have been paying more monthly than a brand new customer, who it seems always get the best deals, and so I switched back to Plusnet. There was no hassle involved, it's simple. Plus, I have absolutely no desire to 'haggle' with anyone over the 'phone. I don't have the time for idle chit chat with someone in a retentions department eager to grab themselves a commission (if that is what happens).

We could go on about it all day long, and yes I get it, there are customers out there who will happily claim they are more than satisfied with their provider, but it is also true that some of those customers literally have no clue as to what they are actually paying because each month rolls by and then the year rolls by and because everything 'just works' the apathy sets in. Had I stayed with BT, I would be paying more than I am now, I wouldn't have received the cashback incentive from Topcashback, a very handy £85 thank you very much! and what's more, my service hasn't actually changed in any way shape or form.

So yes, I too am happy with Plusnet, as things stand.

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

The other thing that should have been included is that once a price has been included in a contract the price should not be increased unless there is exceptional circumstances such as a raise in VAT.

My understanding of a contract is that both parties agree to something for a set period of time and clauses that allow price increases during the period of the contract should be outlawed.

Jonpe
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

Would you consider your contract of employment to be unfair if they keep increasing your salary every year?  Would you prefer to keep the initial salary stated in your contract for your entire time in that job?

PN make it clear that the price may go up during the term of the contract, but I understand TT guarantee no increase, and a few days ago I received a communication from SSE that they are now doing the same.  Perhaps a no-increase contract will become the norm (though not in contracts of employment I hope Cry ).

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

@Jonpe

Not everybody in employment gets a automatic salary increase each year, true there is the minimum wage but that's a legal requirement rather than part of your contract of employment.

The reality is that most people get a decrease in their wages each year caused by inflation, for example many have had to settle for a 1% increase for years but inflation has been much higher, I guess many people would settle for no increase in their wages providing there was a zero increase in inflation.....which I accept as impossible.

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

@gleneagles

Living in London and commuting, the fares go up every year in January "to pay for improvements". Although I've yet to see any. Maybe the Thameslink route I'll give an exception to. I'm am not that far from one of the stations they're building it into, so can't help wondering if the price of my property will go up Tongue

So you will need a pay rise just to break even and cover for your fare rise - if not then you are worse off next year.

I suppose people who drive to work have the same problem with fuel costs. Not as if they hardly go down.

 

Jonpe
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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

You probably don't travel on the new sub-surface trains on the Underground; recently the air-conditioning has been worth every penny of the fare.

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Re: Compulsory notification of end of contract

Yep you're pretty much right @Jonpe, they don't have the underground in South East London (where I live) and I generally only use the Underground in Central London where I rarely go outside Zone 1.