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ISP's Warned To Avoid Ofcomís Fines
By: MarkJ - 15 December, 2005 (12:56 PM)

The UK Internet Services Providersí Association (ISPA) has urged ISP's to ensure they have an Ofcom approved Complaints Code of Practice and membership of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme:

The alert follows the publication of Ofcomís priorities for approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes in the telecommunications sector.

Under General Condition 14, ISPs must have both an approved Code of Practice and membership of an ADR scheme. Failure to comply with this condition may result in fines of up to 10 per cent of turnover under section 96 of the Communications Act 2003.

Customers in dispute with their communications service providers are directed to ADR schemes when they are not satisfied that their complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction. More than 300 companies have joined Ofcomís two approved ADR schemes - the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman Service (Otelo) and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS).

The reason why this has suddenly become so important is because such complaint systems must now be more transparent, allowing Ofcom to see whether ISPís are actually using the systems properly.

Previously the effectiveness of an ISPís ability to deal with complaints didnít matter so much; they only had to be members.

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