Ofcom is to lay down new rules setting out an obligation on telecoms firms to reveal their best deals to customers languishing on higher rates as part of a fresh shake-up of the broadband, phone and pay TV sector.
The new ground rules will force such providers to first notify customers when their existing deal is due to end before going on to highlight their best available offers at that time. It is hoped this practice will end consumer inertia which sees many pay over the odds by encouraging many to choose a better deal or switch to a different provider.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said: "We're making sure customers are treated fairly, by making companies give them the information they need when they need it.
"This will put power in the hands of millions of people who're paying more than necessary when they're no longer tied to a contract."
Ofcom research found that some 20 million customers had left their initial contract period in these sectors, with 14% unaware as to whether they are still within the terms of an initial deal and a further 12% unaware of when such a period might come to an end.
Ofcom is in the midst of a Fairness for Customers campaign which seeks to redraw the balance of power in favour of the consumer with the broadband sector in particular under fire over 'misleading' pricing.