A third of UK broadband customers did not receive an end-of-contract notification from providers last year and subsequently overpaid by a collective £251m, according to new research from Uswitch.

Between February and November 2020, scores of customers did not receive a warning that their contract was set to close, even though new rules came into force earlier in the year.

Firms are now required to deliver written correspondence to customers prior to their contract’s closing so that they can ask for a better deal or look for a new provider.

The third of customers who did not receive this warning are overpaying by an average of £90 a year once their contract ends.

Trade body the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) said that the pandemic had initially caused issues for internet providers, which led to Ofcom offering a three-month grace period that expired in the summer last year.

However, it appears that some customers are still not receiving notifications or had missed warnings that used language deemed not “urgent” enough.

Uswitch head of regulation Richard Neudegg said that it was “great to see” that around two-thirds had got a reminder and were able to negotiate a better deal thereafter.

He added: “However, the fact that a third of consumers whose contract was due to end say they didn’t, or couldn’t recall, receiving an end-of-contract notification should ring alarm bells.”

ISPA chairman Andrew Glover said that the research again highlights how important the period near the end of a contract is to customers.

Ofcom added that it was important that providers adhere to the new rules.