"... and automatically renew a contract at the end of a fixed term without giving notice or withdrawal rights.”
That is amazing, in the sense of amazingly bad. How can anyone think they can get away with that?
The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found cloud storage providers were using contract terms and practices which could have breached consumer protection law – and has secured a “commitment” from three companies to not be naughty. Following the CMA's 218-page consumer law review of the sector (PDF), and “engagement …
I believe it's called rolling the contract over. I have seen it done a few times to unsuspecting clients.
They go ballistic when they find out they are still paying for something after the initial term and are apparently stuck with the 3 year old kit for another 3 years. Especially when it would be cheaper over the 3 years to replace it with new kit. My best advice to them is to keep complaining and try to piss off the supplier so they can get out of it.
There is only so much I can do to help them but can guarantee that I will contact them before the next 'rollover' date. They throw their toys out of the pram and I have a new customer even if I am slightly more expensive.
The CMA are a combination of bureaucrats and jobbing academics and management consultants. Sometimes they get things right, but there's often limited insight. And the bureaucratic framework totally blocks any proactive investigation even if they wanted to.
Personally I'd make the CMA a subsidiary agency of the NAO, and give it some licence to go and investigate things it thought needed a kicking, in addition to the current arrangements where they can only accept referrals from establishment bodies.
These practices are illegal in the UK and have been for some time.
Any provider would epically fail in court due to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act 2008.
The beauty for customers taking this route is that you get to claim compensation as well a refund. You can also charge interest at up to an APR of 8%
Essentially they tried to **ck people over, but people can easily **ck em' back several times over. It's cheap, pretty quick and easy to do.