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Ofcom UK Accuses Broadband ISP True Telecom of Slamming

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 (10:26 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 1,107)
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A lengthy investigation by Ofcom has found “reasonable grounds for believing” that Kent based broadband ISP True Telecom may have breached several consumer protection rules over their handling of service migrations and contracts, including SLAMMING.

The investigation was first launched last October 2016 (here), following a series of complaints from consumers. At the time the CEO of True Telecom, Stuart Griffiths, said that he had been “shocked to receive this investigation, but due to our volume increase it was a little expected. True Telecom is three years old and since the beginning of 2016 we’ve doubled our customer base.” Griffiths also promised to work “closely” with Ofcom.

Slamming is a mis-selling practice that can occur when naughty people trigger a switch (migration) of your service to another provider, without you ever having given confirmed consent. Ofcom’s existing migration rules and related General Conditions (GC) are designed to protect against such abuse but it now appears as if True Telecom might not have been playing fair with some of their subscribers.

Ofcom Statement

Specifically, Ofcom has reasonable grounds to believe that True Telecom:

* contravened GC22.3(d) by engaging in Slamming. In particular, that it contacted Customers and then placed transfer orders without the Customers’ authorisation and, that it placed repeat transfer orders following the cancellation of the initial transfer order by the losing CP, without making contact with the Customers to obtain their authorisation to place a new transfer order.

* contravened GC22.8 by failing to create and retain relevant records of consent, for each contract entered into for the provision of Communications Services, for the required minimum period of not less than twelve months.

* contravened GC9.4 by entering Consumers into contracts that exceeded 24 months and including terms requiring them to pay early termination charges for the period following the initial commitment period.

A quick Google uncovers plenty of complaints about the ISP, with many alleging that True Telecom cold-called them and sometimes allegedly used misleading selling tactics, among other things. However Griffiths has previously denied this and stated that the provider is “heavily focused on internal compliance, all our calls are recorded and we receive verbal agreement on all contracts.”

Nevertheless Ofcom has clearly found cause to be concerned and the feedback that we’ve received since last year suggests that they may be right to have done so. The regulator has now issued a Notification to True Telecom under section 96A of the Communications Act 2003 and they will be given an opportunity to respond to Ofcom’s allegations before a final decision is announced.

Recently the regulator has shown that they’re willing to hand down hefty fines and force through significant customer service improvements in order to ensure compliance. We expect that True Telecom may face the same, not least since Slamming is considered to be quite a series offence.

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6 Responses
  1. Matt

    You might have the wrong site in the article.

    http://www.truetelecom.com/

  2. Colm Canavan

    Virgin attempted to do this to us in our work connection last year. They phoned up and told huge amount of lies about providing a faster service for less and being able to get us out of our 5 year contract with BT. I called all their lies since I knew virgin weren’t even available in our area and telling them I was not able to authorize a change of provider on my own I agreed for them to send me a quote by email. A few minutes later I received an order confirmation that I had ordered a 79mbs connection from them for almost 2 times what they promised. I of course forwarded this all to Ofcom who did nothing so why is it ok for Virgin to do this but they are going after a smaller company?

  3. Alan

    “Slamming is considered to be quite a series offence.”

    Or i assume “serious” offence.

    Also no idea what the Virgin spam is all about above.

  4. Anonimus

    worked there for a number of months and well lets just say that there is nothing legit about them.. they are all crocks trying to make a quick buck and are just bullies to the staff and have no business running a company… they should be shut down once and for all..

  5. kevin barr

    just leaving talk talk today 31 st aug to join true telecom hope it works out bother with t t since nov 2016 fed up complaining hope im not out of the pan into the fire kgb

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