You may or may not have heard of EU regulation 17 in relation to communications but it stated that if the T&C’s of a plane you are on were changed by your network they would have to notify you of this change at least 30 days in advance to allow you consider it. If you didn’t agree with it you were permitted to leave your contract without penalty.

This regulation has changed and is now known as Regulation 14 of the European Communities (electronic communications networks and services)(Universal Service and Users’ rights) Regulations 2011

This clause has allowed people to get out of contract whenever the networks  have changed a user’s plans T&C’s, however how they handle a customer when they request to be released from contract has varied.

O2 Ireland changed their T&C’s of a plan many customers were on in June 2010. This resulted in a large number of people exiting their contracts but O2 did permit them to stay on the network but on rolling 30 day contracts. Other networks (including Vodafone) have allowed customers to be released from contracts following changes to their T&C’s but they did force them leave the network. This is fine if you’ve somewhere else to go but not necessarily good if your current network offers the best deal on price and coverage.

The changes don’t happen too often but they may allow you to exit your contract if you needed to. By law the networks are supposed to notify customers directly which doesn’t always happen  as in the case of UPC.

So if you don’t spot a change within the 30 days and you weren’t notified of changes personally then you need to complain to the network and if they don’t satisfy you then take the complaint to Comreg.

Remember that this regulation applies to all forms of communications services and contracts such as home phone and broadband.

The links below will take you to some of the phone networks notifications pages, which will list any changes to T&C’s.

Did you get out of contract due to this regulation? If so let us know why in the comments section below or on twitter @Irish_technews

Three: http://www.three.ie/customer-notification/

Meteor: http://www.meteor.ie/terms_and_conditions/notifications/

Vodafone: http://www.vodafone.ie/terms/customernotices/?ts=1276770568754

O2: http://www.o2online.ie/o2/legal/consumer/index.php?cid=81