Mobile mis-selling complaints have increasedOfcom says mobile woes now outstrip landline ones
21 November 2007
Customers now make more complaints about mis-selling by mobile phone companies than landline firms, the telecoms regulator has said.
Ofcom yesterday reported a significant increase in complaints about mobile mis-selling over the past year.
The regulator received 813 complaints about the issue in September.
That number outstripped problems logged by Ofcom about mis-selling by landline firms for the first time.
Problems with cashback deals offered by mobile networks were a major source of customer frustration.
This is when firms pledge to reimburse new clients with a proportion of the line rental - but in some cases this doesn't happen.
Landline complaints fell
Ofcom's Consumer Experience report says complaints about mis-selling in the fixed-line market have dropped since a peak in July this year.
But it adds: 'In contrast, mobile network mis-selling has steadily increased and for the first time in September 2007 exceeded complaints about fixed-line mis-selling.'
Broadband, cable and other mis-selling has remained broadly stable over the past year.
Ofcom's Consumer Experience research report says mis-selling is the single biggest source of complaints to the regulator about telecoms firms. Mis-selling is when firms make false or misleading claims to potential customers - such as promising them savings or gifts which never materialise.
Some firms mis-sell by pressurising the customer into switching phone firm, sometimes by using threatening behaviour.
Slamming is an extreme form of mis-selling where customers are switched from one phone company to another without agreeing to it.
Ofcom received 13,037 complaints about slamming by telecoms firms in September, which it describes as a significant drop compared to last year.
The regulator said a voluntary code of practice brought in by mobile phone firms earlier this year had not yet prompted a big enough drop in complaints.
Ofcom has started a formal review to decide whether new legal requirements are needed to curb mobile mis-selling, slamming and bogus cash-back deals.
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