Feeds

Fine phone slammers, says TSI

Industry told to 'clean up its act'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The head of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has called for "strong penalties" to combat mis-selling by telecoms companies.

TSI chief exec Ron Gainsford said he is "concerned at the growing problem of telecoms mis-selling and would like to see strong penalties for misleading sales behaviour".

His comments come on the first anniversary of Ofcom's industry code of conduct, designed to stamp out slamming and other dodgy sales techniques.

In May 2005, all telcos flogging fixed line services had to adhere to a mandatory code of practice to prevent punters being duped into switching telephone suppliers. In the worst "slamming" cases, punters are switched from one telco to another without their knowledge or consent. Companies that breach the new rules could be fined up to 10 per cent of turnover.

At the time, Ofcom chief exec Stephen Carter said: "These measures should help support progress towards the appropriate levels of clarity and transparency whilst the market continues to mature."

But BT says that little has changed over the last 12 months and wants the telecoms industry to "clean up its act" after receiving more than 200,000 complaints about mis-selling over the last year.

In a statement, BT Consumer MD Gavin Patterson said: "This is an anniversary the telecoms industry should be ashamed of. We've received 200,000 complaints since the codes were introduced and...with complaints to us running up to 20,000 a month, we're worried thousands more customers are going to suffer from the problem in the year ahead."

A spokesman for Ofcom told us that enforcing the rules introduced in this area last year "is a priority for Ofcom".

"We continue to run an industry-wide investigation into compliance which has led to action against several individual companies. When changes to the rules were made, we said we'd assess their impact over a two year period and that is what will happen over the coming months," he told us. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.