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Unicom’s Parent Company Universal Utilities Renames to VERASTAR

Thursday, Oct 15th, 2015 (3:33 pm) - Score 9,316

A few months ago Ofcom fined Unicom (Universal Utilities) £200,000 for misleading consumers over the sale of their fixed line telecommunications services (here) and so it’s perhaps worth pointing out that the ISPs parent company has just renamed itself to VERASTAR.

Over the past few years ISPreview.co.uk has received a small string of historic complaints (peaking in 2009-11) about the provider, with common allegations suggesting that Unicom might have sometimes failed to make clear that their broadband services came with a 3 year contract (phone orders) or made it difficult for customers who wanted to leave.

Ofcom’s investigate didn’t go that far back and focused on a period between the 1st March 2013 and 8th July 2014, while their efforts were also more tightly confined to the question of whether or not Unicom had complied with their obligations under General Condition 24.3 (this covers “mis-selling” and related marketing matters).

In the end the regulator concluded that Unicom had provided “mis-leading information to some prospective customers” and in so doing had thus breached their rules. Unicom was ordered to pay a fine of £200,000 and told to compensate any customers that were impacted by their practices, although sadly this compensation only applied to the limited period of Ofcom’s review (i.e. some subscribers haven’t benefited).

But in keeping with all this it’s been noted by one of our readers, whom kindly pointed us towards the development, that Universal Utilities / Unicom registered a change of name at Companies House on the 9th October 2015 and they are now called VERASTAR. It’s still the same Company Reg No. 03667643, same VAT Reg No. 945 795467 and the same trading address.

Interestingly the VERASTAR domain name appears to have been registered on 15th July 2015, which is just a couple of weeks before Ofcom’s £200k fine was announced. The previously proposed £300m flotation of Unicom, which could have suffered some impact from Ofcom’s ruling, may have also played a part.

Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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