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Ofcom threatens UK telecom firms over bills

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Nov 2010 23:31 User comments (2)

Ofcom threatens UK telecom firms over bills UK communications regulator Ofcom has threatened two telecom firms over bogus bills they had demanded customers pay up.
TalkTalk and Tiscali were threatened with fines by the regulator after they had billed customers for services that were canceled previously. Over 1,000 consumers contacted Ofcom complaining that they received agressive demands from the two providers for the payment of bills they didn't owe to them.

TalkTalk bought Tiscali last year and has blamed a new billing system that was introduced since for the billing errors. Tiscali customers on seven different billing systems are slowly being integrated with TalkTalk's own customer database.

Ofcom has warned that many thousands more customers may have been billed wrongfully. TalkTalk said this problem should not arise again after it fixed problems with the billing system that will now stop it from producing spurious bills for customers who have left the services.

"TalkTalk Group has co-operated fully with Ofcom's investigation and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to this limited group of former customers," the company said.

Ofcom isn't taking the situation very lightly. It has demanded that TalkTalk first ensures that it does not try again to collect non-existent debts, use any debt collectors in such cases or threaten any legal action against consumers. If former customers have paid up for services they didn't receive, they must be refunded.

If credit ratings agencies were involved in any particular case and a customer has had his/her credit history damaged, then it must be repaired. TalkTalk has until December 2 to comply fully and if it fails to do so, it can be fined as much as 10 percent of its annual turnover.

"Ofcom is determined to stand up for consumers and take action against companies that break the rules," said Ofcom's director of consumer affairs, Claudio Pollack. "Our investigation into TalkTalk and Tiscali UK found that they had billed customers for cancelled services; this is unacceptable which is why we have ordered them to clean up their act or face the consequences."

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2 user comments

14.11.2010 1:36

"TalkTalk said this problem should not arise again after it fixed problems with the billing system"

LoL...that is briliant...so you say that if you fix all the problems with the billing system, then there will be no more problems with the billing system?



24.11.2010 6:08

"TalkTalk Group has co-operated fully with Ofcom's investigation and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to this limited group of former customers,"

How very British to "co operate fully".Ofcom is funded by all the Communication Company's.Working hand in hand hey?....corrupt!!!

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