Ofcom is investigating mid-contract price hikes for broadband and mobile services after a survey found a third of consumers are unsure whether they will have to pay more from April.

Telecom providers will raise prices by 14% in line with surging inflation this spring, at a time when many people across the UK are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Ofcom is concerned about the “uncertainty” consumers face, as many weren’t aware of price increases when they signed up.

A survey by the watchdog found around 50% of customers are unsure how much more they will have to pay, while a similar number are confused about inflation calculations.

Providers use the retail price index (RPI) to ensure prices track the inflation rate in the UK, which surged to a four-decade high in December.

While they are legally able to do this, Ofcom is now investigating whether there needs to be “greater certainty and clarity” for customers.

Some providers allow customers to leave their contracts within 30 days after a price increase, but Ofcom says inflated-related hikes often fall outside this purview.

It means people will see an increase of around 14% to their monthly bills and have no recourse to challenge the changes.

Ofcom says it wants to find out whether providers are “making it difficult” for customers to clearly understand “what to expect” when signing up for broadband and mobile.

There are already strict rules in place, but further refinements may be required.

The review findings will be released before the end of the year.