Feeds

Ofcom vows to smooth out ISP complaint complaints

'Inconsistencies' found in dispute handling

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Pissed-off punters can now benefit from what communications watchdog Ofcom has described as "an improved experience" when complaining about mobiles, landlines and broadband.

The regulator said it has held a major review of its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services, which act as middlemen between internet providers and upset customers, and added that new measures were now in place as a result.

It has been agreed that approved ADRs - the Ombudsman Services: Communications (OS) and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Service (CISAS) - will adhere to a set of common principles when mulling over gripes from telco users.

Ofcom claimed that those principles would "help safeguard against any potential inconsistencies in the way the schemes deal with and resolve consumer complaints, resulting in better outcomes for consumers".

As part of the deal, the ADRs have to adopt common compensation guidelines, the watchdog said.

"Effective redress for consumers is essential and by providing a free, independent service to consider disputes, ADR schemes play a key part in this. OS and CISAS have agreed to the new decision making principles, and Ofcom has therefore continued its approval of both of these ADR providers," said Ofcom consumer group director Claudio Pollack.

The schemes had met most of the criteria to deserve approved status from the regulator, but Ofcom's review uncovered that those ADRs had fallen short of effectively helping a small number of complaining customers, leading to "inconsistent outcomes".

CISAS saw a 56 per cent annual increase in grumbles from telco customers, while OS reported a 17 per cent jump, according to the most recent figures, Ofcom said.

Kim Brook, a member of the independent policy-advising Communications Consumer Panel, said in response to Ofcom's review: "It is vital that the schemes are not only consistent with each other, but also swift, fair, free and effective." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.