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BT has apologised to a small business punter after signing him up to a five-year telecoms contract without his consent.

Scott Allison - the boss of Glasgow-based Freedom Mobiles Ltd - was contacted by BT approved reseller Glasgow Telecom before Christmas. Glasgow Telecom is one of BT's army of 82 BT Local Businesses across the UK that earn commission flogging BT services.

Although Allison said he was happy with his current telecoms services he discovered later that Glasgow Telecom had switched his one-year ISDN2 contract to an extended deal that locked him in for five years.

"I might have expected some fly-by-night company to submit erroneous orders...but I certainly would not expect a business which BT have personally approved and permitted to trade as BT to submit orders for long term line rental contracts without any instructions from the customer," said Allison.

When he challenged the order, he was told his "daughter" had authorised it - even though he has no children. In his pursuit for further clarification he discovered that Glasgow Telecom had no record of who actually confirmed the order.

Although BT insists this is an "isolated occurrence" the UK's dominant fixed line telco has sought changes in the way its BT Local Business in Glasgow handles the signing up of long term orders.

A spokesman said: "BT would like to apologise to Scott Allison for the confusion regarding his contract with the BT Local Business in Glasgow. An order was placed to switch his ISDN2 contract to a discounted five-year contract, which Mr Allison did not want. BT has introduced a new process for the Glasgow Local Business asking that all long term contracts are accompanied by a signed order."

BT has since cancelled Allison's long term order and returned him to his original contract. ®

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