If you are thinking of signing up to a new mobile phone, home phone or broadband deal, there are a few things you might want to consider first. For instance, will the amount you pay each month stay the same over the course of the contract, or do different prices apply at different times? And if the terms, including price (or prices), you agreed to at the outset of the contract change or increase unexpectedly, what are your rights?
A new guide published by Ofcom sets out some factors you might want to consider before signing a new contract and explains what you can do if the price you agreed to at the point of sale increases unexpectedly.
Is the core price fixed, tiered or variable?
The core subscription price – usually the price that you have to pay each month – is likely to be one of the most important factors in your choice of contract. It may be:
Fixed – where you agree to a single price which is fixed for the fixed term of the contract e.g. £20/month for 24 months.
Tiered – where you agree to pay different prices at different times, e.g. £x/month for the first 12 months and £y/month for the second 12 months.
Variable – where you agree to pay a core subscription price for the fixed term of the contract, but the provider reserves the right to increase the price at its discretion.
No matter what type of contract, the core subscription price or prices you agree to pay should be provided clearly and transparently to you at the point of sale. If you're unclear as to what you are agreeing to, or are uncomfortable with the type of contract being offered, don't sign up.
The full guide can be found here.