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By: MarkJ - 19 May, 2009 (11:58 AM)
Ofcom UK has slashed the amount of time that consumers are forced to wait before having their broadband ISP and or telecoms related complaints resolved. Presently consumers must give their provider 12 weeks to solve the problem, only then can they take the complaint up with an alternative dispute resolution service (CISAS and Otelo).

Typically 12 weeks is a very long time to wait for a resolution, especially if you're running a mission critical broadband service that is failing to function as intended. To that end Ofcom will, from 1st September 2009, reduce this waiting period from 12 to 8 weeks.

Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards, confirmed that the regulator received thousands of calls each week from consumers who are dissatisfied with their provider and said: "The vast majority of consumers are happy with their telecoms services. For the minority who aren't we want to ensure that customers get a fair and swift resolution to their disputes."

Communications providers are understandably allowed a "a reasonable amount of time to resolve a consumer's complaint", as Ofcom puts it. However the regulators own research revealed that complaints are almost as likely to remain unresolved at twelve weeks as they are at eight.

Sadly Ofcom doesn't reveal the full detail of this research, although it has promised to review its ADR schemes sometime in 2010. In addition, it's always good practice to find out whether your ISP is a member of the UK ISPA and complain to them as well if they are.
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