14-Sep-2011 11:01

Auto-Renew Contracts-We the Only Ethical Telco?

“Auto-Renew” Phone Contracts - Are We the Only Ethical Telco?

SimplyFone are one of the very few (or now possibly the only) UK Telecom Call Provider that never ties any client – neither residential nor business – into any time-related contracts..

Whether SimplyFone install the telephones lines, carry your calls & line rentals or simply carry all your calls, we never tie our clients into any ‘contracts’ and allow all clients the freedom to move or transfer away at any given time, without notice and without incurring any penalties or fines...

Wouldn’t it be agreeable if all other Telcos supported our policy?

However, and sadly, this is not the case and most Telephone companies and Broadband suppliers and Mobile companies not only tie subscribers into long’ish contracts but have a policy of automatic contract renewals unless specifically requested otherwise!

Ofcom, following customer complaints, are 'finally' rather upset about this…

Currently, unless a client opts out, some ISPs, including BT, automatically renew contracts and apply - sometimes punitive - penalties to small business and residential customers who decide to leave their service provider early.

They have given all Telcos until the end of this year, 31st December 2011, to lock landline and broadband customers into automatically renewed contracts.

After that date, auto-rollover contracts will be banned.

Ofcom have confirmed it reckons that about 15% of UK customers who sign up to a broadband and landline provider are tied to Automatically-Renewable-Contracts (ARCs).

Companies including BT, AdEPT Telecom, Axis Telecom, eZe Talk, italk telecom, TalkTalk Business, Titan Telecom, Optimum Calls and several others have been ordered to completely remove ARCs from the market by 31 December 2012.

Ofcom’s Chief Regulator Ed Richards commented, "Ofcom’s evidence shows that ARCs raise barriers to effective competition by locking customers into long-term deals with little additional benefit. Our concern about the effect of ARCs and other ‘lock in’ mechanisms led to our decision to ban them in the communications sector."

BT (obviously!) said it was most displeased with Ofcom's decision and (pathetically) claimed its customers benefited from discounts granted as a result of offering them renewable contracts!

Now, wouldn’t it be simpler, more transparent and fairer if all Telcos followed our lead and simply had NO time-related contracts – period!


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Contributed by Steve Hall on 14-Sep-2011 11:22
Proud of you Simply Fone. These roll-over contracts are a shame on the industry. 30 years ago as a fresh-faced trainee salesmen, I would go into a Rank Xerox or Kalle Infotec customer and show huge savings and improved technology but the customer could not move. Why? Simply because they were locked into a 3,4,5 or even 7 year agreement! Neither Kalle Infotec or Ranx Xerox would budge an inch and often what happened is that the customer had to re-sign(on another roll-over)or have an obscene cancellation to pay off. (Worse still were the franking machine salesmen at Pitney Bowes or Roneo Alcatel. They should have gone "directly to jail, do not pass go and do not collect 200". They deserved their nicknames of the "Great Train Robbers". Good to see that EVENTUALLY somebody is doing something about it but it does seem far too little and far too late. RESPECT to Simply Fone.
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