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Post Office probed on phones

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20/12/2006

Ofcom, the body that regulates the telecoms and media sector, is to look into claims that the Post Office has mis-sold its landline phone service.

Following reports that customers were allegedly being switched to the service without their consent, and without even benefiting from cheaper utility bills, Ofcom will investigate whether the Post Office has breached codes of practice.

The regulator refused to give details of how many complaints it had received about the problem, but did confirm that some people had been switched without giving their permission.

Switching phone customers – known as ‘slamming’ in the industry – has bedevilled the cheap utility phone market for many years, despite the efforts of the regulator to stamp it out.

Managing director of the Post Office, Alan Cook, said that he was “disappointed” to learn about the Ofcom investigation. “The Post Office has worked alongside Ofcom in recent months to implement a number of new measures to improve our HomePhone sales processes and to ensure customers get a cheap utility phone service.”

He continued: “As a result of this vigorous action, which includes a validation call to each customer before the service goes live, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of mis-selling complaints and the switching of customers to a service where they get cheaper utility bills.”

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