Telecoms firms found breaking the rules will face fines of up to 10 per cent of their turnover.
Some businesses try to get customers through dishonest activities such as mis-selling, or ‘slamming’ where customers are simply switched from one company to another without their knowledge and consent.
Ofcom has received about 750 per month over the last year in this area. Mis-selling can include consumers receiving calls from telecoms providers pretending to be another company, not being told of the correct package costs or not being informed that minimum Contract periods and early termination charges may apply.
Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive said: ‘It is not acceptable for consumers to suffer from companies engaging in dishonest sales and marketing activity. Ofcom will not hesitate to take enforcement action against firms who don’t comply with the new rules.’
The new rules, called General Condition 24, will:
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; and
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.
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