Ofcom has issued a fine to ISP Supatel for switching customers to another company’s services without consent or knowledge, a practice known as slamming.
The £60,000 fine was handed down from the regulator after it was revealed that Supatel, trading as TimeTalk, had ignored the rules on slamming between October 1 and November 30 2012 and moved customers onto new services without correctly informing them.
As well as this, Ofcom has ruled that customers who have been slammed in this manner are free to sever ties with Supatel without having to pay a termination fee regardless of how much of the contract has been served. In any case where a customer chooses to return to their previous ISP and any new set-up or connection fees are required, Supatel will be required to foot the bill for this too.
Following complaints from consumers who claimed to have been mis-sold a fixed line telephone service by TimeTalk or have had their service switched to TimeTalk without their consent, Ofcom began its investigation last November.
With evidence obtained from Supatel and Openreach, Ofcom ruled that the ISP had been in breach of General Condition 24 of its Sales and Marketing of Fixed-Line Telecommunications Services guidelines. This condition specifically prohibits ‘slamming’ or ‘repeatedly placing transfer requests for Customer’s Fixed-Line Telecommunications Services without their express knowledge and/or consent.’
Earlier this year, Ofcom dished out a pretty sharp fine to two companies operating on behalf of TalkTalk. It was revealed the companies were ignoring the rules regarding use of answer machines which resulted in a number of distressing silent calls.
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