UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the launch of a monitoring and enforcement programme in which it will look to assess the cancellation and termination arrangements of communications providers (CPs). In doing so, the watchdog also aims to examine the impact these arrangements have on consumers’ ability to exit communications service contracts ‘quickly, conveniently and without error’.
With Ofcom having said that it receives a large number of complaints about the difficulties experienced by consumers when trying to cancel or switch their services, it has claimed that such issues suggest that CPs are ‘systematically making it difficult for customers to exit their contract’. In announcing the launch of its monitoring programme, the regulator has said that it considers the matter ‘extremely serious’, adding that the opening of the six-month monitoring and enforcement programme was ‘an appropriate response to [its] concerns’.
The regulator will initially focus on the following areas: customer service concerns, for example long call centre waiting times while trying to cancel a service; difficulties in securing mobile Porting Authorisation Codes (‘PACs’); billing continuing after a contract has ended; and problems unlocking handsets post-contract.