Statement: Treating vulnerable customers fairly guide – changes to the guide to help ensure customers in debt or struggling to pay are treated fairly

Published: 17 March 2022
Consultation closes: 12 May 2022
Status: Closed (statement published)

Statement published 29 September 2022

Making sure people in debt or struggling to pay are treated fairly by their communications provider is a priority for Ofcom. While a relatively small proportion of broadband and mobile customers tend to fall into arrears, debt can be stressful and can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. In the current economic environment, we are mindful that more people may struggle to pay or fall behind on their bills due to rising retail prices and wider pressures on the cost of living.

We already have rules in place – General Conditions – that require providers to treat financially vulnerable customers fairly, including those who find themselves in debt. We also have a Treating vulnerable customers fairly guide (“the guide”) which suggests good practice measures that providers could adopt, to help make sure they are treating vulnerable customers fairly and delivering good outcomes for those customers.

Following a Call for inputs in July 2021 and a review of the guide, on which we issued a consultation in March 2022, we have decided to strengthen the protections for people in debt or struggling to pay their bills by revising our guide. The revised guide is published as a separate document.


Contact information

Riverside House 
2A Southwark Bridge Road 
London SE1 9HA
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