From 31st December 2011 it will no longer be legal for Communication Providers to sell Automatically Renewable Contracts (ARCs) for fixed voice and fixed broadband services.
An ARC is a type of contract which recommits a customer into a new contract automatically once their initial contract term expires, without first obtaining the agreement of the customer.
Although Ofcom do not outline specific ways in which express consent can be obtained, they do comment that one off permission or permission gained too early or too late in the contract term are unlikely to comply with the new guidelines.
Any customer who is already on an ARC must be moved away from this type of contract before the end of December 2012.The new legislation applies to any domestic or business customer with less than 10 employees.
The specific guidance can be found on the Ofcom Website.