Ofcom: Support for struggling bill payers

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If you’re having problems paying your phone or broadband bill during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, you must speak to your provider as soon as possible to see how they can help.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live, with people becoming more and more dependent on their phone and broadband services.

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live, with people becoming more and more dependent on their phone and broadband services.

What is Ofcom doing?

Ofcom is working with telecoms providers to make sure that they treat their customers fairly and help them to stay connected. So far, providers have already done this during the pandemic by putting measures and processes in place to protect vulnerable customers and ensuring access to essential telecoms services.

Ofcom is now calling for telecoms providers to continue to support customers during this period and to recognise that people might suffer financial problems. Ofcom will expect providers to work with customers who find themselves in this situation and to explain to customers how they can help them.

Ofcom has asked providers to take the following steps:

  • Prioritising support for customers who might be struggling to pay their telecoms bills and offering advice on managing telecoms debt
  • Strengthening their work with consumer bodies and other organisations who could help these customers
  • Offering options, such as a payment plan, a cheaper tariff, or a payment holiday
  • Ensuring customers still get the level of telecoms service they’re used to if they’ve asked for support, avoiding penalty charges such as late payment fees
  • Avoiding disconnection for these customers and treating it only as a last resort.

What should you do?

If you are in financial difficulty or if you think you’re going to struggle to pay your bills, you must contact your provider as soon as possible.

Your provider will be able to talk you through the options they have in place to help you manage your situation and keep you connected.

Mark Burcher