Feeds

Telecoms switchers baffled by pricing info, say MPs

In the dark over true costs

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?