Channel alert to misselling rule


Airtime distributors are preparing their dealers for Ofcom’s new General Condition 23 (GC23) rules on misselling.

HSC is to audit its entire dealer base over the next two weeks to ensure full compliance with GC23 rules. Avenir Telecom last week also sent out details on GC23 requesting all dealers confirm they have read the 164 page Ofcom document issued by Ofcom. Avenir dealers are expected to comply by September 1.

Ofcom’s new measures, published on March 17, come in to force on September 16, and are designed to combat confusion and fear experienced by consumers over being mis-sold a mobile product or service.

The new rules stipulate the service provider must not engage in “dishonest, misleading or deceptive conduct” around selling to customers. It says network providers are ultimately responsible for their channels, and are liable to fines for misleading customers.

They must be sure they understand the contract they are signing, and the incentives within the sale.

Dealers must retain and keep on file a copy of a utility bill or bank statement of any business it connects, as well as a picture of the business outlet displaying the company name or logo.

They must also keep on file proof of their own company insurance, details on their data protection registration, customer terms and conditions and details on customer complaints procedures.

Hugh Symons also confirmed to its dealers 3 is to “randomly” carry out its own audits, while T-Mobile will cancel all of its existing dealer agreements and issue new ones.

Meanwhile, Wigan-based B2B dealer Lansafe has implemented a new customer contracts system to prepare for GC23.

Lansafe managing director Lee Roby said the company had put in place a new system to record all conversations and interactions with customers. The customer must now sign a document to say everything has been made clear to them by Lansafe and that Lansafe has acted appropriately.

He said: “In light of the new Ofcom condition, we want to up the ante on our business practices. The customer is not always right, and sometimes they try things down the line to alter the contract, like get a new handset when they are not supposed to, so this helps us conduct our business in the best manner.”

Lansafe has also just taken on three new sales staff focussing on O2 and Vodafone business.