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Ofcom has announced that it will prevent broadband providers from levying "hidden" additional charges on customers.

The industry watchdog specifically aimed to ensure that broadband, TV and phone service providers give customers clear information on charges imposed on those who choose to pay by methods other than direct debit.

It will introduce new guidelines that aim to promote fair and proportionate charging tariffs among providers and will force compliance within a three-month period.

Ofcom also announced that providers must give fair warning before charging those who have missed payments to ensure they have the opportunity to address the problem. They will also be required to encourage support for low-income households.

Under the regulations, service providers will be forced to cite clearly the length and conditions of contracts, as well as the fees imposed for those wishing to end contracts prematurely.

The news follows a recent announcement from uSwitch that estimated Britons were paying as much as £237 million annually because of such charges.

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