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The public spat over billing accuracy between mmO2 and business phone services company OpenAir is a further illustration as to...

The public spat over billing accuracy between mmO2 and business phone services company OpenAir is a further illustration as to why telecom managers need to take a close look at their billing arrangements.

Earlier this month the Mail on Sunday reported that mmO2 and OpenAir were heading for the courts over disagreements over the accuracy of bills levied for O2 airtime minutes, re-sold by OpenAir to its own business customers.

OpenAir was forced to bring in external consultants to audit its O2 bills and help build its legal case, which involves hundreds of thousands of pounds being argued over. MmO2, O2’s holding company, rejects OpenAir’s case.

The national publicity created from the fall-out between the two may have left a question mark over the accuracy of phone bills in the public’s mind, according to the Communications Management Association’s billing special interest group leader Paul Fegan.

“What this highlights is that the area of billing is complex, and that there are areas that the man in the street would not be able to discover," he said.

“This will be an interesting case to follow when it comes to court, particularly as many bills are currently taken on trust. Hopefully the court case will offer some useful pointers to telecom managers, and the CMA will be following it closely.”

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