UK communications regulator Ofcom opened an investigation into whether terms around in-contract price rises had been communicated clearly enough to consumers by mobile and fixed operators prior to sign-up.

After analysing complaints and other preliminary evidence, the regulator stated it had concerns customers who took out plans between the start of March 2021 and 16 June 2022 may not have been provided with sufficiently-clear information.

Ofcom’s investigation covers the above period, which ends the day before new regulations on the matter came into force.

At the time covered by the probe, Ofcom noted service providers were required to “set out” any potential future price rises in contracts “prominently and transparently at the point of sale”.

“If the customer hadn’t agreed to those terms when signing up, because they hadn’t been made sufficiently prominent and transparent, providers should have notified them of the price increase and offered them a right to exit penalty-free.”

Ofcom noted it could subsequently launch separate investigations into specific providers if issues with them were found.