The UK’s digital regulator, Ofcom, has announced that changes it introduced last year to mobile and broadband to protect customers are helping people to save millions of pounds. Last year, the regulator introduced new rules that alerted customers that they were nearing the end of a contract and helped protect vulnerable customers from out-of-contract charges; now, these alterations seem to be paying off.
Ofcom found that 62% of broadband customers who were coming to the end of their contract signed a new deal with their current provider or switched to a new one when their existing deal ended, this is up from 47% of customers in 2019. The increase is likely due to the fact that customers are made aware of their contract status so they can take action, whereas, in the past, it might have slipped by without them noticing.
Ofcom also found that broadband customers who were out of contract fell from 40% in 2019 to 35% in 2020. Being out of contract can mean paying £5.10 more per month so the prompts about the contract coming to an end are useful for those who want to save that bit of money each month.
As for vulnerable broadband customers, Ofcom revealed that those out-of-contract pay £2.30 per month more than the average which is still a reduction from 2019 when the figure stood at £4.40 per month.
Finally, Ofcom said that it had noticed an increase in the number of mobile customers that took action to secure a new deal. The figure rose from 70% in 2019 to 76% in 2020. This could have to do with the action Ofcom took in late 2020 to ban networks from selling locked phones, making it easier to switch.