Feeds

Ofcom to hold operators responsible for dodgy dealers

Voluntary code of practice not working

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Ofcom wants to make mobile network operators responsible for their resellers, reporting that a voluntary code of practice for the industry has failed to reduce complaints.

The voluntary code was introduced in July last year but enforcement was up to the network operators, who have been inconsistent in their approach. Ofcom won't name names, but reports that some have retrained staff and now make compliance a condition for resellers, while others have taken a more relaxed attitude and left resellers to manage their own conformance.

More importantly, the volume of complaints about mis-sold mobile phone contracts has remained consistent since the voluntary system was introduced.

Ofcom is particularly concerned about cashback schemes, which give the punter a cash payment in exchange for signing up, or using the service for a set period. Resellers get a sum from the operator for every customer they recruit, but in some cases the cashback on offer was greater than that, indicating something dodgy was afoot.

Only about 95 per cent of cashback is ever claimed, and resellers base their business models on the premise, but some also make it very hard for punters to get their dough. Techniques include demanding the original receipt, and in one case asking a non-computer-owning customer to submit all the details via email to get their entitlement.

Ofcom reckons that 79 per cent of cashback customers get their money but the rest lose out, and if a voluntary agreement isn't going to work then Ofcom will make the network operators responsible for their resellers.

Ofcom has no power over the resellers themselves, as the regulator can only threaten providers of Electronic Communications Services or Electronic Communications Networks; but if operators can be held accountable, then they're going to have to keep a close eye on the companies they do business with.

The operators won't want the responsibility, and are preparing responses to Ofcom's proposal which will no doubt emphasise the expense of making them police the industry. But Ofcom has no one else they can hold to account, so as long as the public is being sold dodgy contracts they'll be looking for someone to take responsibility. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?