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ISP Cloud M Fined £55K by Ofcom for Number Porting Shenanigans

Friday, November 30th, 2018 (12:28 pm) - Score 829
ofcom uk telecoms regulator

The UK telecoms regulator has fined business phone and broadband ISP Cloud M £50,000 for refusing to let one of its customers (a small business) take their phone number with them when they wanted to switch provider. A £5K fine was also imposed after they failed to provide accurate and complete info. by the deadline.

The case in question stems from a complaint raised by MF Telecom Services Ltd, which in January 2018 resulted in Ofcom opening an investigation to establish whether or not Cloud M was providing number portability in good time and on reasonable terms. The probe also considered whether the operator was meeting its other obligations, both in terms of compensating for delays and in responding to several of Ofcom’s information requests.

Under the regulator’s General Condition 18 (GC18), consumers are entitled by law to keep their telephone numbers regardless of who they choose as their service provider and ISPs are expect to allow such ports in the shortest possible time, as well as on reasonable terms and conditions. If they fail to do so then consumers must be compensated. Sadly Cloud M appears to have struggled with all this.

Ofcom’s Statement

Following an investigation, Ofcom has found Cloud M refused to let one of its customers – a small business – take their phone number with them when they wanted to switch to another provider.

Telecoms companies are required to compensate customers if they break porting rules. Cloud M did not do this, so in addition to the £50,000 fine we are also requiring the company to pay £1,000 in compensation to the customer.

Ofcom has also fined Cloud M £5,000 for failing to provide accurate and complete information to us, by the deadline given, during the course of our investigation. Cloud M has still not provided all the information requested.

Our information-gathering powers are important to our work in protecting consumers, so we are imposing a daily penalty of £100 (capped at £3,000) until Cloud M provides the information.

The company history for Cloud M is certainly quite interesting and highlights how a recent compulsory strike-off action was discontinued at the end of 2017, only for another one to emerge on 30th October 2018. The only seemingly related website that we could uncover for the operator (here) appears to suggest that they’ve now become part of Comcast.

UPDATE 2:05pm

Ofcom has also just uploaded a useful information page about their fight to protect number porting (here).

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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3 Responses
  1. Simon

    Just over a year ago I was told by BT I couldn’t keep my number when I moved because it was assigned to a particular exchange, and said if it was for business use I should be using the business package and therefore I could keep the number as it would come from a different allocation pool. To make matters worse, the people with my old number, phone me on my new number complaining about people and businesses constantly contacting them and there’s nothing I can do about it because many of the sites my old number appears on have dormant webmasters who whom don’t respond.

    • Lansalot

      Simon – Porting a number to a VoIP provider is typically easier than BT moving numbers between exchanges. There are various reasons for this that I won’t go into.

      If the current owners agree you may be able to port your old number to a VoIP service and get it back. They will need to have a new line installed as the porting process cancels the existing analogue line. Ask them not to cancel the line on which your old number currently rings, because if it is cancelled (ceased) it can’t be ported.

      I’m not sure I’ve ever tried porting a residential number to VoIP but I can’t think why there would be an issue with this.

      Disclosure: We do offer this service but not normally for residential – I’m not advertising, just trying to offer helpful advice.

    • There are some caveats to Ofcom’s rule where a port is technically not possible, although the regulator is trying to find a way to resolve that.

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