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Ofcom UK Probe ISP Onestream Over Mis-Selling and Slamming

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 (11:48 am) - Score 1,240
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Hampshire-based UK ISP Onestream, which was established in 2016 and recently launched a range of affordable ADSL2+ and FTTC based broadband and phone bundles, is facing an investigation by Ofcom after a number of consumers complained about how the provider was handling switches (migrations).

One of the complaints appears to involve slamming, which is a mis-selling practice that can occur when naughty people or ISPs trigger a switch (migration) of your service to another provider, albeit without you ever having given confirmed consent. Ofcom’s existing migration rules (General Condition 7 – formerly GC22) are designed to protect against such abuse, but they’re not perfect.

The rules also require ISPs to ensure that “any information [they provide] to the Switching Customer is accurate and not misleading,” although in this case Ofcom has said that their investigation will examine whether or not Onestream broke these rules.

Ofcom Statement

Specifically, this investigation is examining whether Onestream engaged in mis-selling and slamming by:

* placing transfer orders, including repeat transfer orders, for switching customers’ communication services without their express knowledge and/or consent; and/or

* providing inaccurate and/or misleading information to switching customers about Onestream’s identity that has the potential to mislead switching customers into believing they are making an agreement with their current provider or are agreeing to switch to a different provider than Onestream.

Ofcom has a history of coming down hard on ISPs that are found to be engaged in mis-selling practices, like slamming, and as a result most providers are wise enough to avoid it. The last ISP to suffer as a result of such action was True Telecom, which at the end of 2017 was slapped with a £300,000 fine for mis-selling their landline telephone services to over 100 people (here).

The regulator now intends to go on an evidence gathering exercise, which is expected to conclude during March 2019. However these investigations can be very complex and we may not learn the provisional outcome until later in 2019. We have contacted the ISP in the hope of getting their side of the story and will update if / when they respond.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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