Phone Slamming

What is phone slamming? This is a complaint about a broadband and telephone customer being a victim of phone slamming, a phrase we at had never heard of but here is the definition:

What is ‘slamming’?

‘Slamming’ is the most severe form of mis-selling. Phone slamming occurs when your service is transferred to a new telephone company without your knowledge or consent.

Examples of slamming:

  • Your service is transferred without you being contacted
  • Your service is changed without you having even been contacted by your ‘new company’ (in rare cases sales staff have been known to forge potential customers’ signatures to make a sale)
  • You were contacted but gave no permission
  • The company contacts you, and your service is transferred to them even though you haven’t given your permission. For example, you are sometimes asked to sign “for more information” and then your signature is used to transfer the service
  • You signed up for a different product or service
  • You actually agree to buy products or services from a new company, but the service you are given is not the one you asked for
  • You wanted a new service, but were deliberately misled about the identity of the company you were making an agreement with
  • You discover, after agreeing to transfer your service, that the ‘new company’ is not the company described to you at the time of the sale

Other mis-selling

Apart from slamming, there are other forms of mis-selling that primarily involve mis-representation (eg if you are misled as to the relationship between the “new” telephone company and BT) or pressurised selling.

  • You’ve been put under pressure
  • If you’ve been pressurised, either over the phone or on your doorstep, into transferring your service
  • You’ve been given misleading company information
  • If you are told that ‘BT has sold its customers’ to the new company, or that ‘Ofcom has ordered BT to transfer its customers’ to them.
  • You’ve had to buy the service just to get information
  • If you’ve been told that, to get information about its services, you have to transfer your calls or your calls and line rental and then cancel the new service if you don’t want it

The action you can take depends on the type of mis-selling you have experienced and when it happened.

Here is the slamming complaint that we got sent in….


We were using Sky for our calls when we were contacted by phone last September to ask if we would like to take advantage of the £5 a month BT call plan. Initially my wife agreed, but I later that evening checked our terms and conditions with Sky and realised that if we didn’t take Sky Talk then our broadband costs with Sky would increase by £5 per month. We contacted BT the next day and cancelled the arrangement. This was confirmed as cancelled on 15th September at 19:39pm

Nothing more was thought of it until strange BT bills started coming through via e billing around Christmas/January. It wasn’t until the beginning of February that I got round to checking out our bills with BT and Sky that I realised that our phone calls were being supplied by BT.

I phoned Sky thinking it was their error, to be told that they had received a call from a third party to cancel Sky Talk on 24th September. I stated that it was not me and who had the right to do such a thing and I was told that it was BT and it looked like I had been the victim of Slamming (something I had never heard of).

I contacted BT immediately and was on the phone for 1 and a half hours being moved between about between 12 different people having to explain my situation each time (this was on the evening of 15th February between 7.40 and 9.10pm). I was hung up on 3 times in that period and I was fuming at the way I was dealt with. Eventually someone did take the information down and said it had to be go down as a permanent record on my account and would have to be dealt with at a higher level by an offline team.

I was given a complaint ref No. (VOLO11-2937437****) and was told that the resolutions team would contact me. I heard nothing more so on 9th March I called the resolutions team.

They wanted me to explain the problem which I was reluctant to go through again (as it was recorded on my account). Staff member didn’t seem to know what she was doing and I was kept on and off hold for 25 minutes, until she came back and offered me a £20 goodwill gesture.

I said I was not prepared to accept that as at the very least I wanted reimbursement for the phone calls and increased Sky broadband charges incurred, not to mention the hours of phone calls to try and resolve the problem. She said she would talk to her manager and someone would get back to me. That was 9th March, six weeks late still nothing.

I would be most grateful if someone could please look into this for me and have the decency to either call or write and let me know how this is going to be resolved.

Thank you

Mr C J Goss

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  • Dear bt,

    May I take this opportunity to share my annoyance and dissapointment at an organisation that me and my family provided custom to for over 20 years.

    Since last year we joined an alternative provider, thus left bt due to a more cost effective package.

    We have recently been recieving numerous calls from your sales team even after informing all call operators that we did not wish to rejoin at this moment in time. Upon all ocassions me and my family members were polite to the call operators, however at approx at 7.40 today an operator called to which I responded by saying we were not interested and would not like to be called again.

    The operator ( female, with a scottish accent ) ended the call abruptly whilst I was in mid-conversation. I found this extremely rude and reinforced my view of never wanting to return to bt. It was upsetting to experience such rude behaviour, first in which we were disturbed from our meal and then to have the phone slammed on me.

    If you wish to take this complaint further with your employee. Can you please ensure that we do not recieve any calls from your sales team.

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