Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, comments: “It is reassuring to see regulators tightening up the package of consumer rights across industries. As long as markets are encouraged to be as competitive as possible, driving better prices and improved services, these are positive steps for consumers.
“Long-serving customers who have fallen out of contract should not be bamboozled into thinking they are unable to leave their existing provider, or that it will be difficult, costly or time consuming to do so.
“It is therefore especially welcome that the CMA is setting specific expectations on business practices. Companies should never be misleading, it should be easy to exit contracts, and contractual tricks such as default auto-renewals into fixed terms should not be used to keep customers locked in.
“It is important that the work of the relevant regulators is allowed to be completed before taking wider steps which may result in unintended consequences, such as higher prices or reduced competition.
“The most effective solution is to put measures in place that will stamp out confusion and empower consumers to vote with their feet.”