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BT spooks SMEs over mis-selling fears

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Six in ten small businesses (SMEs) have been the victim of telecoms mis-selling, according to BT, while four in ten small firms say they are badgered by dodgy operators every other day.

The UK's dominant fixed line telco says there's been a 13 per cent jump in attempted mis-selling over the last seven months making telecoms "the most commonly mis-sold business service in the UK".

BT business boss Bill Murphy said in a pre-prepared statement that "increasing numbers [of SMEs] find themselves falling victim to the underhand tactics of the less reputable firms in the telecoms market".

Unfortunately, no one from the monster telco was available for comment at the time of writing to add any more detail to these figures or to name and shame rogue operators. Neither did anyone at Ofcom return calls that might have shed some light on these seemingly worrying stats.

Critics maintain that BT's ongoing campaign against mis-selling is overplayed with rivals arguing that direct sales has helped increase competition and led to millions of end users saving billions of pounds by switching from the incumbent.

Yesterday, BT unveiled a free helpline to poach customers given the elbow by Cable & Wireless (C&W). Last week, C&W announced a major restructuring of its business that will see up to 3,000 jobs axed as the number of customers is cut from around 30,000 to just 3,000.

Now BT has jumped in and is offering what it describes as "those displaced businesses" a chance to call "a dedicated team of advisors...to help them manage the unexpected requirement to move to another communications company with the minimum of hassle and disruption". ®

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