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Ofcom to keep spotlight on international calling cards

The UK’s media watchdog has put the ‘confusing’ international calling card business on notice after making two interventions in 2011.

The six-month extension to Ofcom’s monitoring and enforcement programme will make sure providers stay within consumer law, don’t charge unnecessary fees or make false advertising claims.

It follows an investigation in 2011 into the consumer experience of purchasing and using international calling cards, which found it was ‘frequently one of confusion’.

Ofcom said: “We have decided to extend the programme for a further six months to continue our ongoing monitoring and enforcement work in relation to the international calling card industry, and take any action, including opening individual investigations, as appropriate.”

In 2011, Ofcom told Lycatel and Nowtel to make their terms and condition clear after investigations sparked by public complaints to Consumer Direct and Trading Standards.

The Lycatel investigation sparked Ofcom’s wider industry survey, which lead to Nowtel being targeted.