Broadband provider TalkTalk has introduced a new 'Fairer Broadband Charter' that urges an end to mid-contract price rises and greater transparency from suppliers.
It comes as new research commissioned by the firm found there is widespread consumer dissatisfaction with the telecoms sector. According to its survey, nearly nine out of ten consumers (87 per cent) think it is unfair for broadband suppliers to raise their prices mid contract, with more than half of respondents (54 per cent) supporting a ban on this practice
The study also found that many customers are being punished as they do not know when their contract ends, which leaves many people facing higher charges once their minimum term expires. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (62 per cent) admitted to not knowing when their contract ends.
TalkTalk's Fairer Broadband Charter aims to address these issues by pledging to deliver a better service and urging other providers to follow suit. It includes three key points - to end unfair price rises, ensure firms deliver on what they promise, and do more to reward loyal customers.
Chief Executive at TalkTalk Tristia Harrison said: "Telecoms companies have been ripping off consumers for far too long. The industry has to change to rebuild trust with consumers.
"Our Fairer Broadband Charter sets out three simple ways we’ll put customers first. I’m challenging our rivals to follow our lead so that the whole industry can rebuild trust with customers."
TalkTalk noted that it is the only major provider not to have introduced a mid- contract broadband price increase in the last 18 months, while its Great Connection Guarantee allows new fibre customers to leave for free at any point in the first 30 days of their contract if they aren't happy with their connection.
It also called on other providers to proactively write to customers before their contract expires to warn them about any price rises and offer the option to re-contract at lower prices than standard out-of-contract pricing.
According to recent research from uSwitch, sending out such notices could save British consumers more than £1 billion a year, with three-quarters of people saying this would prompt them to switch to a cheaper deal or provider.