UK regulator Ofcom has made good on its promise to punish network operators who allow their services to be mis-sold, insisting that operators take responsibility from September this year. Resellers will have to keep better records of the sales process, including recordings of all telephone calls relating to the sale, and conform …
And onto broadband
Ofcoms "Voluntary code of practice for broadband" has been a complete failure.
I've yet to see any of the signee's comply, they appear to simply pick the ones they *might* be able to comply with at no cost to claim complaince, while ignoring the meat of the code.
At the moment, Ofcom doesn't appear to be fit for purpose.
New rules like, for example
"The new rules (pdf) include some remarkable clauses including an undertaking "not to engage in dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct"... which one might have hoped was already against the law."
Unlimited* - Do away with the * which inevitably leads you to some very, very small type faced jargon explaining exactly what your limits are
Up To* - Do away with the * which inevitably leads you to some very, very small type faced jargon explaining that 56Kbps is classed as Up To* 50 Mbps
Its only a stick...
if they actually use it.
Otherwise it'll just look like a decorative leg, being used to prop up a sad, toothless flea-bitten (watch)dog.
They body-swerved the Phorm/BT trials issue. can't see them having the balls to take on the mobile networks either.
Maybe .... just maybe
Ofcom can stop the slew of unintelligible indians that insist on ringing me from all the mobile telcos trying to sell me contract phones . If I wanted a contract phone Id bloody get one . I had one last week . He got upset and hung up on me when I demanded my free handset . He asked me if I would like a free handset and yes I would like a new handset . He then tried to sell me a contract which I didnt want . So I pointed out the handset was hardly free in that case and he hung up lol .
Now they can tell Virgin Media to stop selling their "POINTLESS BROADBAND" with stupid speeds that is capped "RIDICULOUSLY" as 10mb and 20mb when you get only 30minutes a day of those speeds in reality.
Ofcourse traditionally OFCOM has no teeth and the ISP's know it, so nothings gonna change.
Way, way, way behind the curve
This has been endemic in the industry for quite a few years - more than enough actually for Ofcom to have figured it out, acted and probably stamped on the problem. But true to their ignominious tradition, extensive pontification has made this an almost worthless gesture, far, far too late.
As for: "Threatening them with huge fines may be excessive when the operator is not at fault"
Well, if I was top Trough Meister at one of the big networks, I wouldn't be losing too much sleep over that possibility. I think the largest fine levelled by Ofcon to date is about 50 grand -about a ninth of the Ofcom boss's salary. In any case, I suspect the networks are more than happy to reap the customers gained from mis-selling and turn a blind eye. Since they are in the best position to police their own sales, it seems appropriate that their knuckles get slammed in the door, although it's far more likely to be a humiliating but cost free stern word or two.
Another watchdog that appears to be more of a fig leaf.
Lets have some REAL honesty then
Broadband sellers should be allowed to sell using ONE figure, and one figure only.
That figure is the GUARANTEED MININIMUM that the buyer MUST receive, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year.
No other figure properly describes the service, so no other figure should be allowable. And if that figure is a pitiful number, then its high time they upped it, instead of inventing random figures to PRETEND the service is better than it is.
On the other hand
If by some miracle it was enforced, let's say...
The networks could always put it in their contracts that there is a penalty for resellers who missell their products. This way the yellow stuff would trickle down the chain to where it does deserve to be, and they would pretty quickly stop this.
Not holding my breath though.