Ofcom beats broadband providers up

Ofcom logoThe chief executive of Ofcom has told UK communications providers that they must try harder.

In a speech at a Which magazine conference, Sharon White said that while customer service levels are better, ordinary people are finding to it hard to change their providers and to cancel contracts.

People are also fed up with the kind of customer service they get, she said.

Customers ought to know what to expect from a service when they sign a contract.

White said: “When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection was a ‘nice to have’. Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work, and live their lives.”

She wants the industry to make things clearer when they’re advertising, make it easier for people to switch providers, better contracts, and better complaint handling.

Ofcom can punish companies if they behave badly.

She claimed that while Ofcom is a “light touch” regulator, but can intervene when necessary.

Ofcom has managed to sign up a code of practice with a number of providers including BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

That means people can walk away from providers when speeds fall to unacceptable levels.