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Mis-selling – fixed line

Tackling mis-selling remains an important priority for Ofcom.

There are various ways that a company can mis-sell to you.

These can range from pretending to be another company to incorrectly advising you of the cost of a package.

Other examples include not properly informing you of whether there is a Minimum Contract Period or failing to tell you that an Early Termination Charge that might be applicable.

Regulations

In March 2010, Ofcom introduced strengthened regulations (for residential and small business customers) designed to prevent the mis-selling and slamming of fixed line consumer services.

The new rules, called General Condition 24:

  • prohibit telecoms providers from engaging in misleading and inappropriate sales and marketing activity and slamming;
  • require telecoms companies to keep better records of their sales and marketing activities;
  • confirm the type and level of information that needs to be made available to new customers both at the point of sale and after the sale has been concluded (but before the service has actually been transferred). This includes providing important information about the key terms and conditions of the service, including contractual liabilities and cancellation rights;
  • introduce new rules to make clear when providers are allowed to cancel orders placed by other providers. Cancelling orders for purposes other than those expressly specified by the regulations will be prohibited.

Ofcom actively monitors compliance with these new rules through its enforcement programme which allows us to take action against companies who do not comply with the regulations.

What you can do

If you believe you have been mis-sold, you should first complain to the provider involved and ask them to cancel the order during the switchover period.

If you became a customer of the company due to mis-selling, you should follow their complaints procedure.

If your dispute is still unresolved, and you are a residential or small business customer, you can raise the matter with the relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

If you are a business customer of over 10 employees then you will need to seek your own independent legal advice.

Tell us about your experience

Consumers continue to play a vital role in helping us tackle mis-selling.

Although we can’t investigate individual cases, your complaints can lead to us launching investigations and ultimately to us taking action.

By working with us to tackle slamming, you can help bring about much wider benefits for millions of consumers and ensure that others don’t fall victim to this problem.

I have been mis-sold a service and want to complain to Ofcom

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