Ofcom kicks off review into penalty charges

OfcomOfcom has launched a review of the penalties charged by mobile phone, TV and broadband providers to customers who end their contracts early or make late payments. It follows complaints about the extra costs from consumers.

The communications regulator says it will look at the transparency of the charges and whether the level of the costs is unfair. The charges are levied for a variety of reasons such as late payment, not paying by direct debit and terminating a contract within the minimum period.

It will also consider consumer awareness and attitudes to the charges. Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards says: “Consumers of communications see headline prices fall.

But they must not be misled. As they make their choice of provider, they need confidence that any additional charges are fair, transparent and justified.”

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