Almost half the call centre staff in an undercover survey of broadband providers gave advice about switching that could have left customers being charged double.
The problem occurs because some customers have two possible phone lines which can be used to provide broadband – one BT line, and one run by another internet service provider (ISP), such as TalkTalk.
But staff tested by researchers for a broadband comparison service failed to explain how to switch in this situation, potentially leaving a customer with two accounts running simultaneously – so they’d get bills from their old and their new provider.
Incidents have occurred where two ISPs – one with its own line and one using BT lines – have failed to conduct a proper switchover leading to double billing.
Michael Phillips, of BroadbandChoices, called on the regulator, Ofcom, to give clearer advice to customers on switching to avoid these problems.
He said: ‘Ofcom now cites seven different switching processes and needs to clarify the procedures to ensure that customers receive accurate switching advice from ISP call centres.’
Which? technology expert Lisa Barber said: ‘Based on the results of this investigation, ISPs need to get their act together so that broadband customers receive good, accurate advice about switching.’