Busting the myths around fairness for customers

19 June 2019

Fairness for customers is a priority for Ofcom. We want you to get a fair deal for the services you use, and we want companies to get better at telling you about new deals.

All of the major providers have signed up to fairness commitments that will help to make sure companies improve how they treat customers.

Customers have a wide choice of phone, broadband and pay-TV services, and you could benefit from a better deal – whether that means changing provider or sticking with your current one.

But there are some misconceptions that might prevent people from getting the best deals.

Don't new customers always get better deals than loyal ones?

Not always. Our research shows that, where people are paying more, it is not just because they’ve stayed with their provider for a long time. It’s usually because they haven’t contacted their provider about a new deal.

Some broadband companies charge more to long-term customers, but others offer them their best deals. And in the mobile market, many long-term customers get better deals than new customers. For example, for people who pay monthly for their mobile handset, more than a quarter would pay more if they switched to a similar ‘SIM-only’ deal tomorrow.

Shouldn’t everyone just pay the same price?

Forcing companies to set the same single price for everyone wouldn’t necessarily result in fairer deals for customers.

It could mean new customers end up paying more, as firms would be unable to offer them discounts. Also, setting standard prices could stop new companies from entering the market and offering better deals.

Isn't switching my mobile or broadband too much hassle?

It’s easier than ever to switch mobile or broadband provider.

From 1 July, you can switch mobile network without even speaking to your current provider. Just send a free text to get a switching code within seconds, and take that to the company you want to switch to.

From February next year, phone, broadband and pay-TV companies must tell you when your current deal is about to end, and explain their best deal.

If you fancy getting a better deal elsewhere, ask the broadband firm you’re switching to for a speed guarantee before you sign the contract.

Doesn't faster broadband cost more?

Faster broadband is not always more expensive. Superfast deals start from around £20 a month and can actually be cheaper than standard broadband packages.

Superfast broadband is now available to 95% of the UK. Use our checker to find out what speeds are available in your area.

Our Boost Your Broadband website could help you to find out about what broadband packages are suitable for your needs. It also offers tips on what to ask your provider about your current package and what else might be available.