Feeds

Telecoms switchers baffled by pricing info, say MPs

In the dark over true costs

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

British punters are getting short-changed by telecoms companies because they struggle to get enough information to properly decide which tariff or deal to accept.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee found that removing price controls has made life worse for fixed line telecoms and utility customers.

Ofcom removed price controls on fixed line services in August 2006. It said at the time that competition was sufficient to safeguard consumers.

The PAC found that one in six telecoms customers struggled to find enough information to help them switch suppliers. The Committee found that a quarter of people who switched energy supplier actually ended up paying more - it urged Ofcom to find out if there is a similar problem with switching telecoms suppliers.

The Committee also recommends that Ofcom audits telecom companies redress and complaint procedures and do more to make sure the public is aware of such schemes.

For its part Ofcom said its own figures showed consumers were spending less on fixed-line services. Average household spending on communications was £93.63 per month in 2007 - a fall of £1.53 (1.6 per cent) on the average spend in 2006.

Ofcom also runs an accreditation scheme for price comparison sites which has approved two: www.simplifydigital.co.uk and www.broadbandchoices.co.uk.

The regulator is currently consulting on changes in the way it monitors quality of service and dispute resolution.

From December Ofcom is launching a voluntary code of practice for ISPs to provide better information on broadband speeds that users are likely to get rather than advertising based on the highest possible speeds the technology could achieve.

The full PAC report is available as a pdf here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.