Following Ofcom’s publication of its Fairness for Customers commitments, Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, says: “The requirement to treat customers fairly has not been baked into the telecoms rules as it has been for years in other sectors such as financial services and energy. It is therefore welcome news that Ofcom has managed to convince providers to sign up to this principle – although somewhat disappointing to do it on a voluntary basis rather than adding it to directly and firmly into industry regulations.
“These commitments could be helpful in balancing telecoms more in favour of the customer, many of whom have faced unnecessary hurdles and frustrations when trying to sort out their services. However, this will not be a quick fix. The regulator’s programme of customer engagement reforms needs to continue beyond the introduction of text-to-switch next month and end-of-contract notifications next year, so we look forward to the detail of the upcoming handset reforms later this summer.
“If you find that your telecoms provider isn’t adhering to these voluntary guidelines, let them know you aren’t happy and don’t forget you can take your complaint to the relevant ombudsman if they don’t put things right. Should you remain unhappy then vote with your feet and switch away to a new provider that better matches your needs.”