Phone, broadband and TV providers sign new fairness rules - what it means for you

broadband deals and mobile phone deals
Image credit: Ofcom

Your phone, broadband and TV provider could be one of the many to sign new rules from Ofcom that aim to put fair treatment of the consumer at the heart of their businesses. 

Called the Fairness to Customers commitments, they were laid out by regulatory body Ofcom and signed by the major players in the provider market. That means BT, EE, O2, Three, Vodafone, Sky, Virgin Media, Plusnet, Tesco Mobile, Post Office and GiffGaff are all on board.

The aim of the these customer-focused fairness rules is to strengthen how companies treat their customers. So that might be when you're signing up for a new deal, trying to fix a problem or switching provider to a new company. Whatever the stage, the customer's needs will come first.

Fairness to Customers commitments

The commitments as laid out by Ofcom are as follows:

1. Customers get a fair deal, which is right for their needs.

2. Customers get the support they need when their circumstances make them vulnerable.

3. Customers are supported to make well-informed decisions with clear information about their options before, during, and at the end of their contract.

4. Customers’ services work as promised, reliably over time. If things go wrong providers give a prompt response to fix problems and take appropriate action to help their customers, which may include providing compensation where relevant.

5. Customers can sign up to, change and leave their services quickly and smoothly.

6. Customers can be confident that fair treatment is a central part of their provider’s culture.

Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “Great service cannot be optional. It has to be the norm. That hasn’t always happened in the past in broadband and mobile services, but there is now a growing belief from providers that putting customers first is paramount.”

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Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.