Ofcom is investigating 11 companies for mis-selling phone lines to customers and is extending its enforcement procedures to cover companies selling combined voice and broadband services.
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Mis-selling covers inappropriate sales and marketing activities including “slamming“, where customers can be switched from one company to another without their express knowledge and consent.
Ofcom has announced that rules protecting consumers from the mis-selling of fixed-line voice call services will now also cover providers that offer voice and broadband services using full local loop unbundling (LLU) technology.
Since May 2005, a new General Condition of Entitlement (GC 14.5) has required providers of fixed-line voice call services to comply with a code of practice for sales and marketing in accordance with Ofcom's guidelines.
Since the regulations came into effect, Ofcom says it has opened investigations into eleven providers, including Economy Calls, FreeCall, Lo-Rate, Orb Communications, Platinum Telecom, Post Office, Scottish and Southern Energy, Tesco, Unicom, Universal Telecom and XLN Telecom.
From January to March 2007 alone, Ofcom received around 1,200 complaints related to mis-selling.
In addition to extending the migration rules to cover LLU services, Ofcom says it is also carrying out a review of migrations, switching and mis-selling across all telecoms services, including broadband, mobile and cable.
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