Home » 

UK ISP News Archives

 » 
Sponsored
By: MarkJ - 24 May, 2011 (12:28 PM)
talktalk uk internet isp privacy concernofcom ukThe communications regulator, Ofcom UK, has directly accused home broadband ISP TalkTalk ( AOL , Tiscali ) of "engaging in dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct" after it provided misleading information in order to assist in the mis-selling of its products to consumers.

The regulators investigation, which was opened last November 2010 (here), concluded that TalkTalk had breached a number of its General Condition 24 (GC24) rules. These govern how providers should behave when handling the Sales and Marketing of Fixed-Line Telephony Services.

Ofcom Statement

Ofcom has concluded its investigation into [TalkTalk] and has determined that there are reasonable grounds for believing that since July 2010 to the date of this Notification, [TalkTalk] has contravened, and is contravening, GC24.

Specifically, [TalkTalk] has contravened and is contravening the mis-selling prohibition under GC24.3 by engaging in dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct by providing misleading information that is likely to affect a Customers purchasing decision; and engaging in slamming.

In addition, [TalkTalk] has contravened and is contravening GC24.9 and GC24.10 concerning Customers termination rights by not allowing Customers to terminate the contract from the point of sale to the completion of the Transfer Period, without charge; and not allowing Customers to exercise their right to terminate the contract from the point of sale to the completion of the Transfer Period without unreasonable effort.

Ofcom has now issued a Notification to TalkTalk that will require the troubled ISP to make representations about the matters covered before 20th June 2011 deadline (i.e. to defend itself). The regulator has also called on TalkTalk to make a number of urgent changes, which would help it to comply with their GC24 rules.

The suggested measures would, among other things, require TalkTalk to "provide only factual and accurate information about the contractual process" and allow customers the correct ability to cancel their service during appropriate periods. It further suggested that those who choose to leave within the 14 day cooling-off period should also be allowed to do so without charge.

Ofcom's investigation is only the latest in a long line of embarrassments for the ISP, which earlier this year was forced to repay £2.5 million worth of refunds and good-will payments after another investigation by Ofcom found that the provider had incorrectly billed 62,000 of their customers (here). Not to mention having recently come top in Ofcom's List of Telecom Operators with Most Complaints.

TalkTalk Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

"We're working with Ofcom to provide the information they require before their deadline. We take our responsibilities in this area extremely seriously and we're pleased that Ofcom has acknowledged that complaints are falling.

TalkTalk has thousands of customer transactions each day on the telephone, online and in person and we're committed to providing information that is clear and can be easily understood. We have processes in place to help our employees be accurate in every case and we invest heavily in the training and monitoring of our sales and retention teams.

Improvements in the language used and the materials provided are constantly being made and we will be providing Ofcom with detailed information about our ongoing programme to maintain the highest standards in all of our transactions with our 5 million customers."

A non-confidential version of the Notification is currently being prepared and Ofcom has the power to impose a fine (usually worth up to 10% of the company's turnover) on the ISP if it fails to satisfy their demands. TalkTalk's recent problems appear to have put them firmly into the regulators naughty book. At the time of writing we are still awaiting a reply from TalkTalk and will post as soon as one arrives.

UPDATE 3:00pm

Added a statement from TalkTalk above.
Option: Link | Search

Generated in 0.25764 seconds.
DB queries: 6
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules