Feeds

Oftel admits Komtel banning order now invalid

You couldn't make it up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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Unfortunately, as of July 25, when Oftel adopted new legislation, this banning order became invalid because it was superseded by the new legislation.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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space
'Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability' algo can save ISPs big bucks
Microsoft's Nadella: SQL Server 2014 means we're all about data
Adds new big data tools in quest for 'ambient intelligence'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.