What is contract auto-renewal?
It’s coming to the end of your 5 year contract with your telecoms provider. You are shopping around to see what the competition has to offer. Technology, pricing and offers change dramatically within 5 years and you notice there is a better deal available with slick, new hardware.
You make a call to your service provider to explain you will be moving your business elsewhere, however, you are met with clauses from your original contract that state you have been automatically renewed into a 2 year contract extension as you failed to give 30 days’ notice of leaving.
Sound familiar? This is contract auto-renewal and it is costing UK businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.
Here are our tips on how to avoid having your contract auto-renewed:
Read the small print
It’s a well-known fact that businesses hide unflattering clauses such as auto-renewals in their terms and conditions. However, even though this is common knowledge, people are still being caught out because they fail to read the small print. It might take a bit of time to go through them but it can save your business thousands of pounds. If you have a legal team, send any contract to them for approval before signing anything.
Once you read through your contract’s T&C’s and you realise it includes an auto-renewal clause the best way to avoid this from happening is to pre-emptively opt-out of the auto-renewal as far ahead of time as possible. The best course of action is to do this once your contract is signed and your services are implemented. That way you won’t forget to give your notice 5 years down the line.
Know your Point of Contact
If you don’t know who your main point of contact is, get to know them. It is much more difficult to cancel your contract when you are being passed around a business and eventually you will get fed up. Your point of contact, in most cases, will not be your sales rep. Be aware of your account manager, their direct line and email address. When it comes to giving notice, it will make your job a lot easier.
Set a reminder & Submit your request in writing
If you don’t want to pre-emptively opt-out of your auto-renewal, set a reminder in your work calendar for the date you must give notice. Make sure you are reminded about it for at least a week before and have your termination notice ready to go. Always submit your request in writing, this way if there is any dispute come to the end of your contract, you will have written proof of your termination notice.
Keep An Eye on Your bank statements
Alert the finance team of your termination with your current service provider and ask that they monitor bank statements for any outgoing payments to them. In some cases, providers will continue to charge you recurring fees on your card in the hope that you don’t notice. Monitor your statements for a least 2-3 months after your contract has ended.
Auto-renewal costs businesses a significant amount of money but also stops them from benefiting from the latest technology. Our goal is to end contract auto-renewal for all businesses in the UK. Currently, the laws state that consumer and small businesses (under 10 employees) cannot legally be auto-rolled into a contract extension or new contract. As stated by Ofcom, service providers must give 30 days’ notice of contract renewal dates to their customers.
Help us put an end to landline contract auto-renewal. Sign the petition today.