Ofcom To Act On Phone Mis-selling Practices

UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom is ready to come up with set of rules to take on mis-selling practices, such as “slamming”, by landline firms that trigger thousands of complaints in a month.

Proposed to be enforced from September, the new set of rules from the regulator aims at those landline telecom companies that switch users from a competitor firm without their consent.

The regulator is planning much simpler rules which could include posing fines on companies for up to 10 percent of total turnover if they found guilty of mis-selling.

Describing the purpose of new rules, Ofcom’s chief exec Ed Richards said in a statement, “Ofcom wants to stamp out mis-selling in the telecoms market so that consumers can get the best that competition brings. Our announcements are designed to tackle misleading sales practices in landline and mobile services.”

Slamming is one of the most complained issues in telecoms industry these days, and it includes forging users’ signatures on customer agreements, agents tricking customers by claiming to represent the rival company, or telling customers that they were simply signing up for information, before actually switching them.

In a bid to check the slamming practices, Ofcom’s new guidelines would require companies to keep a record of telephonic conversations relating to sales, and state that the provider ‘mustn’t engage in dishonest, misleading, or deceptive conduct’.

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Our Comments

Phone mis-selling should be made illegal once and for all as some of the practices it uses are akin to identity fraud. It should therefore be dealt with the full force of the law. Also because so many of the companies involved are actually third parties selling on behalf of mobile phone networks, maybe it's time for the likes of Orange and T-Mobile to drive them out.

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