If you are still not happy
We want to try and deal with any problem without you needing help from others. However, if you are still not happy after following the process explained above, you can refer your complaint to the Telecommunications Ombudsman, Otelo.
Otelo provides an independent service for dealing with the problems of customers who are not satisfied with the final outcome of their complaints (called ‘alternative dispute resolution’). We will have explained the final outcome in a ‘deadlock’ letter, which we send once a complaint has been through our complaint process. Otelo can investigate either at this point or if you are not satisfied 12 weeks after making your complaint. Otelo may be able to award compensation.
The following kinds of disputes can go to Otelo.
Problems with most products and services that we offer to residential customers and small businesses.
Problems with products and services for disabled people, including free directory enquiries, access to the TextDirect textphone service, and Typetalk.
If you want to complain to Otelo, you must do so within six months of receiving the ‘deadlock’ letter. If we haven’t sent you a ‘deadlock’ letter, you must contact Otelo within nine months of making your complaint to us.
See ‘Some other useful contacts’ for Otelo’s contact details.
What we can do for you
Provide information on general questions about premium-rate services.
Deal with number-checking requests through the facilities provided on the ICSTIS website at www.icstis.org.uk.
If available, provide details of the service provider for the premium-rate service number so that you can contact them direct for a refund.
Provide information about the prices for calls to any premium-rate service number on our network.
Provide basic information about how premium-rate services work, including whether the calls in question were on our own network or on the network of another provider, together with a basic explanation of how share charges.
Provide information about how you can bar calls to all or specific premium-rate numbers from your phone line.
Provide information about how ‘internet diallers’ work and how you can identify and take action (such as improving your computer’s security), to avoid similar problems in the future.
Provide information on other options available for getting refunds in cases of abuse or problems involving premium-rate calls.
What ICSTIS can do for you
ICSTIS (the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services – see ‘Some other useful contacts’ for their contact details) regulates the content premium-rate services and how they are advertised. It is responsible for investigating complaints about the way premium-rate services are advertised or run, or the way information received using a premium-rate call has been presented.
ICSTIS is also responsible for running the ‘Live Service Providers’ Compensation Fund’, which can compensate customers who dispute making calls to live (rather than pre-recorded) premium-rate services. ICSTIS cannot provide compensation for calls made to recorded information premium-rate numbers, but they may be able to provide details of the service provider. If you want to make a formal complaint to ICSTIS, you can do so in a number of ways. Please see ‘Some other useful contacts’ for their website, address and phone number.