Ofcom fines company for 'Telephone Slamming'

Regulatory /

Service provider 'Onestream' receives a £35,000 fine from Ofcom.

After an eleven-month investigation, Ofcom found Fareham based service provider 'Onestream' guilty of Telephone Slamming and fined them £35,000.

What is telephone slamming?

Telephone Slamming is the worst and most severe form of mis-selling; It's when your telephone service is transferred to a new service provider without your consent or knowledge.

What did Onestream do?

Between the 13th April 2018 to the 25th January 2019, Onestream admitted to Telephone Slamming at least 118 people, the majority of which were elderly and/or vulnerable. Onestream did this using the following methods;

  • By cold calling people without making it clear to them that Onestream was a separate phone company to their current provider.
  • By creating and implementing processes, to make repeated attempts to switch people to Onestream without their permission.

Ofcom found that despite 113 people asking their current phone company to cancel previous attempts by Onestream to switch them, Onestream repeatedly attempted to switch people without their permission or knowledge.

What happens next?

Ofcom has imposed a fine of £35,000; this includes a 30% discount on account of Onestream's admission of liability and their agreement of entering into a settlement.

The fine was near the maximum penalty Ofcom could impose, which is 10% of a company's turnover and must be paid within 20 days.

Ofcom also requires Onestream to proactively refund any money paid to it by any of the 118 people and to inform any of those 118 people still using Onestreams services, of their right to end their contract without any penalty.

Our thoughts and comments

We are shocked and disappointed to see that Telephone Slamming is still taking place and we don't understand why any company would want to do it.

We also think that deliberately targeting elderly people is a despicable act that deserves the most severe fines and punishment. We would like to see Ofcom take a harsher line with any company that engages in these types of practices and to also punish those individuals that are responsible, such as company directors.

Mark Burcher