Ofcom slams the slammers

Telecoms misselling in the firing line

Telecoms misselling in the firing line

Customers of local loop unbundlers (LLU) will now get extra protection from misselling, the telecoms industry watchdog Ofcom has announced.

From this week, consumers who get their voice or broadband from LLU companies can expect the same protection as customers of traditional fixed-line voice providers.

Unbundlers will now need to comply with a code of practice that prevents activities such as 'slamming' - transferring a customer from one provider to another without their knowledge.

According to Ofcom, there have been 1,200 complaints regarding telecoms misselling in the first three months of this year. Since the code of practice was introduced in 2005, Ofcom has opened 11 misselling investigations into telecoms providers including the Post Office and Tesco.

The watchdog is also reviewing the issue of misselling and switching providers across all types of communications, including cable and mobile, to see if a common approach to switching could better protect consumers.