Up until now if you wished to cancel an annually based contract, such as your Wanadoo or Tiscali account, house or car insurance etc. you needed to give at least three months notice in writing. Failure to do so on time often meant that you were tied in for another year. Quite draconian, but that's the system.
However, a recent law has been passed concerning these contracts in which the company must notify you within 1 -3 months of the contract renewal date.
In other words if you do nothing when this notification arrives your contract will be automatically renewed for the next period, but at least you will be aware of the impending date by which you need to cancel - if you wish to.
Also if a company does not notify you the contract can be cancelled by default at any time and any monies owed will be returned to the client.