Feeds

BT and OneTel lock horns over mis-selling dispute

Not pretty

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

BT and OneTel are locked in a bitter war of words over allegations of mis-selling phone services.

The UK's dominant fixed line telco said it has settled a long running legal dispute after Centrica Telecommunications Ltd, which owns OneTel, gave written undertaking that it would "not infringe BT's trade marks or pass itself off as BT".

The undertakings followed what BT described as "serious complaints from members of the public that Centrica's sales agents had misled customers into thinking that Centrica was in some way connected to BT".

Had Centrica failed to co-operate BT would have been prepared to issue legal proceedings.

Now OneTel has hit back, claiming BT's decision to publicise the agreement was done not to protect consumers but to "damage the OneTel name".

Said OneTel MD Ian El-Mokadem: "By publicising our signing of undertakings in regard to IP Infringement BT are attempting to infer that Onetel has not had controls in place previously. Clearly, their desire is to damage the Onetel name.

"Onetel already has the strictest controls in place and on that basis we have signed the undertakings. 

"One has to ask why, having co-operated in this way, BT insisted on publicising this matter.

"Our strong belief is that BT's actions are nothing to do with consumer protection and everything to do with damaging their most successful competitor," he said.

Last week regulator Ofcom confirmed that UK's 35 leading phone operators have all introduced guidelines to prevent their staff from mis-selling phone services.

However, the regulator continues to trawl through thousands of complaints to see if they warrant a full-blown investigation into the sales tactics of certain operators. Telcos in breach of the rules can be fined up to 10 per cent of their turnover.

In August BT secured an out of court settlement against Caudwell Communications Ltd (CCL) for "infringement of registered trade marks and for passing off".

The High Court action, which kicked off in May, followed customer complaints that CCL's sales agents had misled customers into thinking that the company was in some way connected to BT. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?