Feeds

Oftel admits Komtel banning order now invalid

You couldn't make it up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

"Tough-talking" Oftel has admitted that an order it made two weeks ago prohibiting a Welsh company from making 100,000 "nuisance calls" a day has no legal clout whatsoever.

In a shock admission, the regulator has conceded that the new UK and EU regulatory framework in the electronics communications sector which came into force last Friday means that some old rulings are now meaningless.

On July 17, Oftel took action against Komtel Ltd to prevent it from making nuisance calls to peoples' mobile phones using automatic calling equipment.

Oftel claimed that the company made very short calls to mobile phones that people did not have time to answer. When they rang the number back to see who had called, punters were either placed in a call queuing system and kept on hold for lengthy periods of time or had services marketed to them. Either way, those who called got stung for unnecessary charges.

Oftel described Komtel actions as a "blatant misuse of automatic calling equipment to trick consumers into calling the number back and incurring unnecessary charges" and warned that it could face legal action if it failed to heed the order.

In a statement Peter Waller, second in command at Oftel, said: "This final order will stop Komtel using automatic calling equipment to trick consumers into calling a number back and incurring unnecessary charges on phone bills."

Unfortunately, as of July 25, when Oftel adopted new legislation, this banning order became invalid because it was superseded by the new legislation.

So why did Oftel proceed when it knew the order would expire within days? A spokesman for Oftel told us: "We had a statutory duty to protect customers. It also sent out a clear message that Oftel is tough on such matters."

He added: "We are currently monitoring the situation. If Komtel continues to do this… then under the new powers we could impose a fine of up to £5,000."

However, Komtel told The Register that it disputes Oftel's claims and denies misusing automatic dialling equipment to make the so-called "nuisance" calls. It claims it was "singled out" by the regulator following complaints from competitors. ®

Related Story

Komtel ordered to stop 'nuisance' calls

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.