Feeds

Orange broadband converges out of ISPA code of practice

Another catch for 'free' customers

Boost IT visibility and business value

Exclusive The move to bundled broadband and mobile packages has thrown the role of ISPA, the internet providers' trade association, into confusion, after it emerged that most Orange broadband customers are not protected by its code of practice.

After a broadband outage spanning several weeks, Register reader Max took his complaint to ISPA, which passed it back to Orange, which told him that because his internet service was a "free" addition to his mobile package, his complaint would not be handled using ISPA guidelines.

An email from the firm's compliance officer Alison Carter said: "As you have a converged service with Orange, i.e. a pay monthly mobile contract and a free/discounted broadband package, your complaint will be dealt with by Orange Mobile; they will contact you as soon as possible. As Orange Mobile are not members of ISPA your complaint will not be handled using ISPA guidelines; we have informed ISPA of this."

ISPA's code of practice covers issues like data protection, honesty, and complaints procedures. Failure to meet the code can result in ISPs losing their accreditation.

In a statement, Orange told The Register: "Orange provides its converged customers with access to a free and independent alternative dispute resolution service via CISAS, an Ofcom approved service. Orange is also a member of ISPA and all of our customers have access to alternative dispute resolution services under Orange's Code of Practice for Consumers."

CISAS is an independent dispute arbitrator for communications firms. Its procedures allow 12 weeks from the date the complaint was made before it will get involved.

Orange says its procedures allow the operator three months to deal with complaints internally before they are eligible for independent consideration, the maximum allowed by CICAS. Orange's email to Max confirmed: "If your complaint reaches a deadlock situation or has not been resolved after three months, you can refer the matter to CISAS."

ISPA encourages its members to get CICAS involved earlier in the process if the customer complains to the association repeatedly. ISPA will allow the ISP 10 working days for the ISP to resolve the complaint directly. An ISPA representative said: "If a customer complains to ISPA for a second time, ISPA contacts the ISP and requests that the customer be provided with a CISAS reference number - if the complaint cannot be resolved - so that they can escalate the case to independent adjudication. "

"ISPA supports the issuing of reference numbers by the ISP rather than making customers wait for three months. ISPA can effectively resolve complaints after 15 working days."

ISPA's spokesman said they were "working with Orange" to clarify the situation for consumers. He could not tell The Register how Orange could remain a member but not be subject to the ISPA code of practice, or provide details of the situation regarding the other large converged providers.

We contacted Virgin Media, who said all its broadband customers are covered by the ISPA code of practice, regardless of what other services they take. Sky, which provides "free" broadband to its TV customers on a similar basis to Orange's mobile subscribers, said all its broadband customers are protected by the ISPA code of practice. According to the ISPA member list, TalkTalk, another large provider of "free" broadband does not belong to the association.

The news of Orange's non-compliance with the industry standard code of practice will do little to build confidence from its users, who have endured a year of bodged LLU migrations and repeated lengthy outages. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?