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If your telco or mobe provider hikes 'fixed' contract fees you can now ESCAPE - Ofcom

But for every quid you save, there's a pro quo lurking...

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

UK consumers who are locked into lengthy landline, broadband and mobile contracts have greater protection from being stung by price hikes starting from today, said communications watchdog Ofcom.

If a telco or mobile carrier jacks up its price tag above the monthly subscription agreed when a consumer signed up to the contract, punters can - under existing rules - wriggle free of the deal without incurring costly penalties.

The regulator said that it had improved protection for consumers against such tactics after it discovered that many subscribers misunderstood locked-in contracts as being set at a fixed price.

Ofcom said that "customers should be given at least one month's notice of the increase and be allowed to exit the contract without penalty."

Providers are expected to be more upfront about such price rises by adhering to a revised set of rules laid out by the watchdog in October last year.

As The Register noted at the time, the regulatory meddling means that from February 2014 we'll all have to pay a little more for our mobile and broadband contracts as the fixed prices offered by providers will need to tally with their operational costs. ®

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