UK watchdog clamps down on unfair practices with cloud storage

Insists consumers must get a fair deal with contracts

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has twisted the arms of cloud storage providers to ensure fairer terms and conditions are stipulated for customers in line with consumer law.

The organisation noted that Dixons Carphone, JustCloud and Livedrive have all agreed to make their terms and practices fairer for consumers, with several particular bugbears being addressed.

These include providers changing their service or the terms of the contract at any point, without the need to give any reason or notice for said changes – and the ability to simply terminate the contract again at any point, without giving a reason.

The CMA also flagged up the automatic renewal of contracts without any notice or right to withdraw from the service.

Having a quiet word

Dixons Carphone, JustCloud and Livedrive have all committed to addressing those issues, and the CMA notes it is talking to other cloud storage providers to bring them in line as well.

All of this is obviously welcome news for consumers, offering more stability in terms of the agreements they have with providers who they may be storing a ton of files with (possibly including the likes of photo collections which potentially may not be stored or backed up elsewhere). The CMA says that 30% of adults in the UK use some form of personal cloud storage.

The organisation also published an open letter with guidance for cloud storage firms further advising that these companies should make sure consumers are provided with all the necessary information they need on the deal they're getting before they purchase an offering.