Stamping out unfair practices in telecoms and TV
The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, has published new guidelines for broadband, phone and pay-TV providers on stamping out unfair practices.
Ofcom wants communications providers to do more to put fairness at the heart of their businesses. Part of the wide range of work Ofcom is doing under its Fairness for Customers programme, progress so far includes:
- launching a review to ensure clearer deals for people who pay for mobile services and handsets together;
- reviewing broadband pricing practices;
- a new compensation scheme for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong;
- clear information for broadband shoppers about what speeds they will get;
- requiring companies to tell customers when their initial contract is up, and explain their best available deal; and
- allowing mobile phone customers to switch provider with a text message from 1 July.
Ofcom has published a discussion paper to explain to providers how it will assess fairness issues and the kinds of company practices that might prompt regulatory intervention. The paper sets out the types of questions and factors it would consider in assessing whether customers are being treated fairly and are protected from harmful practices.
The closing date for responses, which will feed into a final fairness framework which Ofcom expects to publish before the end of the financial year, is 12 August 2019.