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Ofcom targets hidden phone charges

Ofcom targets hidden phone chargesNews brought to you by Skint Tariffs, providers of price comparison for cheap international calls.

Telephone companies will no longer be able to make unfair hidden charges to their customers, under propositions from communications watchdog Ofcom.

The regulator said that while headline prices may have dropped significantly, fixed-line, mobile, broadband, and pay-TV providers were finding other ways of extracting money from consumers.

According to Ofcom, many consumers pay additional fees which are buried in "complicated contract terms".

Under the proposals, providers of the telecoms services would have to make their contractual terms clearer and easier to understand.

The plans could also set limits on the charges which providers can levy.

It said that providers should be "clear and up front" and that charges "should only reflect the direct costs providers incur".

Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, said: "Consumers are benefiting from greater competition and lower prices. But for consumers to get an all round fair deal they need to know the full costs of the services they are buying.

"Our proposals will encourage companies to be open and straightforward about additional charges where they feel it is necessary to include them."


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