Ofcom to review hidden charges

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Ofcom has announced that it is launching a review of hidden charges that can potentially hit unaware broadband and telephone customers.

Watchdog Ofcom says that it will look into penalty fares that are often added on to a service including fines for late payment and choosing not to pay by Direct Debit. The investigation has been launched by the regulator following numerous complaints from consumers.

Other issues under revue include termination fees and extra charges implemented for having a service fully restored after it has been restricted or suspended due to late payments.

"Consumers of communications services see headline prices fall," Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards commented.

"But they must not be misled. As they make their choice of provider, they need confidence that any additional charges are fair, transparent and justified."

The industry body will study whether such charges are transparent and whether the customer is made aware of them when they sign up to the service.

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