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Ofcom urges social tariff awareness

June 29, 2023

By Colin Mann

Ofcom Chief Executive, Dame Melanie Dawes and the CEOs of other UK regulators met with Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to discuss the impact of the rising cost of living on the sectors they regulate.

Following the meeting, Dame Melanie said: “When the pandemic hit, our telecoms industry rose to the challenge of keeping people connected during an extraordinary public health crisis. Now, companies need to step up again to support their customers as households across the country face a generational crisis with their budgets.”

“We’ve put pressure on providers to offer social tariffs for those most in need, but that’s only half the job. More than half of eligible households are not aware of them, and only 5 per cent have actually switched to one of these cheaper packages, which means millions are still missing out.”

“It’s not enough to expect people to find out about these by themselves – providers must act now to make sure customers know what support is available. Ofcom will be urging telecoms firms to take immediate steps to raise awareness of social tariffs and drive consumer take-up, and will work with government and other relevant bodies to support industry efforts,” she confirmed.

“We welcome the pressure from the Chancellor to ensure utility companies pass cost savings onto customers,” commented Tom Williams, CEO and Co-Founder of altnet Lit Fibre. “Households up and down Britain have been overpaying for broadband services for far too long and many face difficulty exiting these expensive contracts; there is no excuse for hiding behind inflation to keep charging customers such high costs that they’re locked into for long periods.”

“Utility companies have a responsibility to ensure their services are affordable and that customers are getting the highest quality service for their money. Lit Fibre builds its own network and sells services direct to consumers which means we can always provide the best level of service for the best price, and why we never introduce mid-contract price increases. Our focus on a direct-to-consumer model enables us to put the customer first and deliver exceptional quality service and customer support,” he claimed.

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