Feeds

Ofcom makes network operators carry mis-selling can

Grown-up responsibilities

High performance access to file storage

UK regulator Ofcom has made good on its promise to punish network operators who allow their services to be mis-sold, insisting that operators take responsibility from September this year.

Resellers will have to keep better records of the sales process, including recordings of all telephone calls relating to the sale, and conform to a more stringent code of practice - but if they don't it will be the network operator who risks a fine of up to ten per cent of turnover.

Ofcom's power is restricted to providers of communication services, not third-parties who sell those services, so the regulator is forced to put pressure on the network operators in the hope they will police their resellers. The rules follow the failure of a voluntary scheme set up in July 2007, and was first mooted a year ago, but with Ofcom still receiving several hundred complaints about mobile contract mis-selling every month, the problem is clearly not going away on its own.

The new rules (pdf) include some remarkable clauses including an undertaking "not to engage in dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct"... which one might have hoped was already against the law. Punters can also expect conforming companies to "make sure the customer is authorised to, and intends to, enter into a contract".

The fact that Ofcom needs to be so explicit shows the endemic nature of such underhand practices; just about everyone with a mobile phone has received calls trying to get them to switch networks, and most people know someone who has been suckered into a slammed sale. Network operators will take action if callers are passing themselves off as representing the operator (a common misrepresentation), but otherwise they are generally reluctant to act. Threatening them with huge fines may be excessive when the operator is not at fault, but it's the only stick that Ofcom has to wield. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
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
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.