BT customers on widely held contracts – such as those offering discounted weekend and evening calls – are being warned that unless they opt out, the telecoms giant will automatically tie them in for a further year.
BT is the only phone firm using controversial 12-month ‘rollover’ contracts. At the end of the eleventh month, BT writes to customers telling them that they can switch to another deal – or provider – if they wish.
If customers miss the mailing or fail to act, they are automatically locked in to another 12-month period, with penalties applying if they subsequently move.
BT started offering these contracts last year and thousands of customers have already been ‘rolled over’. Many more will be approaching their last month and will have an opportunity to switch to a better deal.
BT insists the rollover contracts are fair and offer value. But telecoms regulator Ofcom is less enthusiastic and says that in response to its guidance, BT has already ‘almost halved’ its related penalties. The watchdog has told Financial Mail that it is ‘actively monitoring’ the issue.