Telecoms company fined

27 August 2009

landlineOfcom has fined a company the maximum amount possible for breaching telecoms rules.

Telephonics Integrated Telephony Limited ("Telephonics") has been fined £183,898.

This equates to 10 per cent of its relevant turnover.

The action was taken because Ofcom, following an investigation, found that Telephonics:

  • mis-used information it received to enable customers to transfer to another communications provider by (i) cancelling without their consent their request to transfer away from Telephonics, and; (ii) by engaging in marketing and/or other activity  to try and keep them as customers;
  • failed to take steps to ensure they did not continue to do this; and
  • failed to take steps to fix the consequences of this behaviour.

Telecoms rules

In addition to fining Telephonics, Ofcom also requires Telephonics to take steps (i) to ensure they no longer breach telecoms rules relating to the transfer of customers to other communications providers and  (ii) to remedy the consequences of their contraventions. For example, (i) making changes to their procedures and training their staff to ensure that customers can transfer away from Telephonics and (ii) informing their current and former customers of their right to transfer away from Telephonics.

Further details of the fine and the actions Ofcom is now requiring Telephonics to take are included in this bulletin.

Each year Ofcom receives and monitors thousands of consumer complaints about problems in the telecoms sector.

Complaints

These complaints range from victims of slamming or silent calls, to those who have been stung by additional charges or who have problems switching provider.

If you have a telecoms problem, Ofcom has a consumer guide which will help you through the complaints process and tell what you need to do each step of the way.

For example, initially you need to contact your service provider's customer services department and explain your problem.

If that doesn't resolve the issue, then you can make a formal complaint to the company.

ADR schemes

You should find details of how to do this on the back of your bill.

If you can't find these details, the company's customer service staff should tell you how to make a formal complaint.

If the problem still persists then you can go to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

There are currently two ADR schemes - Otelo and CISAS - and they act as an independent middleman between the service provider and the customer when things go wrong.

Our guide - which you can download and print out so you have the facts at your fingertips - tells you at what part in the complaints process you can take your problem to an ADR scheme.