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Ofcom reviews additional broadband charges

Regulator questions fairness of penalties

Connection and reconnection charges made by broadband internet providers are to be investigated by telecoms regulator Ofcom.

The Ofcom review follows complaints from customers that broadband charges levied by some telecoms companies are unjust, such as those for ending a contract before scheduled. The penalties for failing to make broadband payments will also be looked into by Ofcom.

Ofcom will examine consumers’ awareness of and attitudes toward these types of charges. The review will consider whether additional broadband charges are sufficiently transparent, unfair and what action, if any, is necessary.

Ofcom said that consumers should be wary of the increasing number of cheap deals as many also include additional charges. Additional charges applied for consumers paying their bills by direct debit or who have had their services restored after failing to make a payment will also be looked into by Ofcom.

Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, said, “Consumers of communications services see headline prices fall. But they must not be misled.

"As they make their choice of provider, they need confidence that any additional charges are fair, transparent and justified.”

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