Ofcom to investigate mobile operators over contract switches
Ofcom are going to launch a new investigation into whether mobile, broadband and TV service operators have broken fair trading laws by making it increasingly difficult for consumers to cancel their contracts.
They'll be looking at EE, Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk, among others, because complaints against these companies has been the highest and most frequent.
The watchdog will also be investigating long waiting times for customers in call centres, as well as the difficulties in getting porting authorisation codes that people need when switching networks. Of course, they'll also be looking at billing issues too, with a nod to people being charged after their contracts have finished.
A statement from Ofcom said: "Ofcom receives a large number of complaints about the difficulties experienced by consumers trying to exit their communications service contract. These suggest that communications providers are systematically making it difficult for customers to exit their contract. We consider this allegation extremely serious, and, if sustained, may result in significant consumer harm."
"It is vital that consumers are not let down by poor customer service and difficult procedures, or even deliberate obstruction, when they try to cancel their communications service. Exiting a contract should be swift, easy and transparent, to allow consumers to exercise their choice and switch to another provider without undue hassle if they wish."