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back to article Ofcom tightens complaints procedure

Ofcom is reviewing the Alternative Dispute Resolution - mainly because no one seems to have heard of it - and will be asking operators to make complaining easier in future. Ofcom reckons most complaints are dealt with satisfactorily, but that it is unnecessarily complicated for every company to have their own code of conduct. …

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Coat

Otelo

Wasn't that another name for Reversi?

Mine's the one with the black on green grid on the back.

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Anonymous Coward

I still not sure what they do

It would appear Ofcom receives complaints from 'Troubled in Tunbridge Wells', says the offenders are very naughty and then slaps them with a fine which Ofcom pockets.

Sometimes they make them do lines, and say something on the TV which we all have to watch, and is not very entertaining.

Con of the century, perhaps they should be called OffCon.

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Coat

ofcom has its work cut out

hehe, I work for a telco (admittedly i don't deal with complaints but...) and I've never heard of either of these ADR's

*slaps himself about the face while snagging his coat*

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Stop

OFCOM? - what is this OFCOM?

I would have thought that most people would go to the industry regulator if they didn't get satisfaction from their operator on a complaint who could then tell them about the dispute resolution procedures. Now - if I could just remember who the telecomms industry regulator is.

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Unhappy

bleh

I think I'm going to stop reading articles about ofcon untill it reads something like "ofcon does something useful and delivers something worthwhile that people actually want!"

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Go

Timescale problem

Complaints need dealing with today or tomorrow, not next week and certainly not in 8 weeks time.

Forget the dispute procedure. The PROPER answer has to be the ability to say "If its not fixed by midnight tomorrow, you terminate without penalty and pay all costs involved in moving me to one of your competitors".

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Paris Hilton

What ADR

Currently going through a dispute process with Otelo after Demon flatly denied me access to the ADR process. In fact they refused to acknowledge that it exists even when asked directly in writing.

Otelo say Demon have a published ADR process on their website - They don't. And it's on the back of the bill - which I never got because I pay by DD.

Otelo pretty much side with every lame excuse that the ISP make even to the extent of believing their incorrect records. They tell me it must have been a misunderstanding on my part.

I ran an ISP for 5 years with a direct relationship with BT Wholesale.

Something must have changed since then because according to Demon and Otelo's decision it's suddenly possible to have ADSL service from two ISPs on one physical phone line.

Paris because even she knows you can only get one jack plug in a hole at a time.

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Flame

It's only 'consumers' here..

Certainly for landline and ISP surely the whole bit about a 'contract' is effectively redundant. If you're not happy with supplier x and you're using them for ADSL then phone for a MAC code and they have a requirment to provide one within 2 days. Then move your service elsewhere. For Landline just phone up new provider and agree to be migrated - phone number, postcode and billing details is all thats needed. Terminate your existing SP's DD via your bank and see what happens. At the end of the day let them take you to court and provided your grievance is valid and documented then the judge should see your side of the argument..

The ADR process is a joke - IIRC the supplier has 12 weeks to try and rectify your problem if that doesn't work then they write to you telling you "sorry we can't rectify your problem, but you can now write to OtelO" - the customer has no right to appeal directly to the ADR provider without receipt of a 'lock letter' (case is deadlocked) from the supplier.

I think it should be changed to 4 weeks to respond - automatic ADR escalation if not resolved within 4 weeks. Customer should also have the right to complatin to ADR directly, provided that can prove have addressed with SP previously.

One of the points to note (and everyone skips over) is that the whole dispute resolution stuff only applies to 'consumers' - something to do with the wording of the general conditions. Furthermore you're only a consumer if you are one or are running a business with less than 10 people in it. Above that size you have no recourse to an ADR schere at all...it's either (a) I'm taking my business elsewhere so sue me or (b) see you in court...

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Alert

@ac

Well if its a IPstream product and its a migration you can access both ISPs over the single line. Seen it twice over the past couple of weeks.

All BT seem to do now is add the new domains and take their sweet time removing the old ones (current record is about 2 weeks, thats how long someone was accessing his OLD ISP before the domains were removed).

So yeah it can be done in that manner.

Posted as AC, sure you can guess why ;-))

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Ofcom need to get serious about systematic abuses

Ofcom are limp and cowardly and need serious beefing up if they are to be a match for the aggressive telecom operators.

From online posts, I am not the only one to find that one major mobile retailer is very slow in issuing PAC transfer codes - 10 working days (even when chased up) against the Ofcom standard of 2 working days. When pushed to explain the delay, the operator explained that they "only collect mail from the PO Box twice a week".

How do they get away with it? By being regulated by lets-not-rock-the-boat Ofcom.

Ofcom's reaction to my experience "we will remind them of their obligations". Wow, bet that will scare them into behaving properly (at the expense of the extra profit to be made by delaying transfers out). Were Ofcom interested in the (properly notified) recording I had of the conversation? No. Did they check performance by making test transactions themselves. "Not sure" was the best I could get.

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Thumb Down

biased scheme

Ofcoms guidelines state ISP have to advise that they have an ADR scheme and who it is and how to contact them. As anonymous crowd has already mentioned, Virgin Media and Vodafone have both refused to admit they have a ADR scheme and refuse to give me the name. I write to Ofcom everytime it happens, and as usual Ofcom says "we dont deal with individual complaints".

Yes there is a problem, and once again it is Ofcom to blame.

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Coat

Who ???

Who can you complain about ofcom too.

Just try using their website ......incredible

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no need!

Ofcom`s consultation document issued July 2005 states that the following :-

“1.15 Communications providers must improve complaints handling procedures and

customer awareness of ADR procedures. Communications providers must

make customers aware of their complaints code of practice as soon as a

complaint is received and ensure that the codes are easily accessible, ideally

through the company website and/or on customer invoices.”

So no one is following Ofcoms guidelines, rather than enforce current guidelines, issue more guidelines and then fail to enforce these as well.

Its the same with codes of practice, Ofcom said they would enforce them with fines of up to 10% of profits, but failed to enforce them. Time for a new Code Of Practice! Maybe Ofcom can make the new one a "recommendation" rather than "mandatory" and avoid any responcibility for the diaster it will become.

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Thumb Down

"Ofcom said they would enforce them with fines of up to 10% of profits"

Well there's a damp squib for a start.

To do any good whatsoever, a fine has to be a MINIMUM of 110% of profits for the first offence and should preferably be not less than 200% for the second.

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