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London-based internet service provider (ISP) Continental Telecom has been fined a maximum of £50,000 for the mis-selling of landline services.

Ofcom issued the fine, the maximum available for such an offence, after the ISP failed to provide information requested by the communications regulator relating to its handling of consumer affairs.

The firm had been under investigation since February 2010, after a number of complaints were received from customers claiming to have been mis-led into signing landline agreements.

In June, Ofcom concluded that Continental Telecom had used unacceptable sales tactics to get consumers to sign up to its deals and failed to tell them of their right to cancel during the switchover process.

The ISP was also accused of abusing the trust of vulnerable customers, including the elderly, people with special needs and non-English speakers, and cutting off customers for alleged non-payment of bills without giving them due warning.

Last month, Ofcom issued a further notification to the firm after it continued to breach consumer protection regulations, with the fine being the latest development in the case.

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