4/21/2008 10:15:00 AM
Rise in operator complaints
CISAS, one of two telecoms arbitration services approved by Ofcom, reported a 41% rise in complaints from unhappy customers last year.
Figures for 2007 reveal there were 6,141 complaints to CISAS, which handles disputes for T-Mobile and Orange customers.
CISAS was able to deal with 1,650 of those complaints themselves – a 30% increase on 2006.
The rise in complaints comes in a year that is critical for operators to push customer service to hold on to their customers now the market has reached saturation point.
At the end of March, Ofcom announced an industry-wide investigation into compliance with the operators’ obligation to be a member of either CISAS or Otelo’s dispute resolution schemes which are designed to deal with consumer complaints.
Ofcom’s director of consumer policy, Claudio Pollack, said: ‘The vast majority of consumers don’t have a clue that they have that right.
‘It’s about making sure that when consumers complain to their operators they are told about their rights – having rights doesn’t work if [consumers] aren’t told about those rights.’
CISAS senior adjudicator Mair Coombes-Davies said that cashback and slamming were two of the key issues dealt with by the adjudication service during 2007.
She said: ’The image of the industry is not helped by the impression that it is the providers who appear to benefit from the cashback problem by insisting on enforcing the terms of the contract.’