OFCOM (The Telecoms industry regulator) has announced some changes that affect business customers:
Shorter Contracts – The maximum contract length for new contracts is now 24 months and a potential customer MUST be offered a 12 month option. The aim is to promote competition and ease of switching. However it doesn’t appear to state what notice periods are allowable. We’ve recently seen one telecoms company that sold a 12 month contract but with a 36 month notice period i.e. in effect a 36 month contract. Not exactly fair and a perfect example of sharp practices in the industry and why you should always read the T&C’s no matter how long, how boring or how much you trust the salesman (alternatively let us read the T&C’s for you!)
Porting Mobile Numbers to take a maximum of 1 working day – The penalty OFCOM has suggested is compensation of at least the daily line rental rate however providers are free to design their own compensation schemes.
Emergency SMS – Under new European regulations, disabled consumers should have the same access to emergency services as other consumers. The emergency SMS scheme, allows registered users to text 999 in an emergency instead of making a phone call. The scheme currently has around 14,500 registered users and predominantly used by hearing and speech-impaired people. Mobile providers are now required to make the scheme available on a permanent basis for hearing and speech-impaired consumers. So if you have any hearing or visually impaired staff with mobiles you need to ensure that they have access to this service.