Ofcom Announcement on New Rules for Customer Switching and Protection

Posted on 27/10/2020

Ofcom has today published its long awaited plans for implementation of the European Electronic Communications Code

Ofcom is introducing a broad package of measures to make switching easier and help ensure that customers are treated fairly – most of which reflect the new European rules which, despite Brexit, the UK government has decided to go ahead and implement. 

The customer protection measures include:

  • new rules that mean telecoms customers will get a summary of the main terms of their contract in writing – before they sign up; and
  • changes to our accreditation scheme for price comparison tools, to make sure the information provided by these services is trustworthy, impartial and transparent.
  • a ban on mobile phone companies selling locked phones – allowing people to move to a different network with their existing handset, hassle-free. 

The new customer protection rules will come in from December 2021.

Ofcom is also planning to introduce new rules on switching to ensure a customer’s new provider leads the switch. The new rules include requirements that a switch is carried out in the shortest possible time and on the date agreed by the customer. Ofcom will shortly consult on its detailed proposals to establish the new process.

The new rules on switching will then come into force in December 2022.

FCS will be looking at the new rules in detail over the next days and weeks with a view to providing guidance to our members. Where necessary we will be engaging directly with Ofcom to ensure that its proposals are clear and practical.

We will be providing a detailed summary of the relevant regulation changes for members shortly and will also organise sessions to enable discussion with our members.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact us. You can find the relevant documentation on the Ofcom website here.

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