A conversation with Ofcom….

Wouldn’t it be good if we knew which mobile networks our contacts are on so we can make an informed choice as to the best network we should be on to get value for money? Obvious? Not to Ofcom…….

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Timple <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Date: 19 May 2010 09:54

Subject: suggestion to help consumers of mobile phones lower their bills

To: contact@ofcom.org.uk

As you know most mobile operators offer large bundles of minutes within the same network.

The problem for the consumer is that it is not obvious which network most of their contacts are on. At least with my operator three – the numbers are described as “mobile” – only 3 mobile is identified when I call subs on the same network.

so two suggestions

1) You force mobile operators to say which network the call went to – so the consumer can say “look all my contacts are with operator x – next time to save money i’ll get a contract with them”

2) You offer a facility on line to allow consumers to put in the mobile number and it tells you which network it is currently on. There is something that tells you what it was originally on – but that of course is irrelevant.

Hope you find these ideas useful.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=359268

Regards

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Date: 21 May 2010 11:52

Subject: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: “gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com” <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

21 May 2010

Dear Timple

Thank you for your email to Ofcom on 19 May 2010 about being able to see which network you are calling.

I understand you feel it would benefit you to have each network detailed on your bill against the contact you have called. I should explain that most providers now offer cross network minutes within their bundles and therefore the provider would not need to detail the networks.

As providers offer cross network minutes, it is unclear what benefit a website containing all numbers and networks would have.

To find a provider which is more suited to your needs, you may wish to visit: http://www.billmonitor.com/. This is a free price comparison service which has been accredited by Ofcom.

Thank you for making us aware of your views and I can confirm I have made a full record of this.

Yours sincerely

Kirby Sharpe

Central Operations, Telecoms Team

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Timple <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Date: 24 May 2010 17:07

Subject: RE: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Dear Kelly,

I have 300 cross network minutes and unlimited 3 to 3 minutes. I believe this is a very common tariff structure and hence knowing which actual networks you call would make a big difference to consumers wanting to lower their bills.

Timple

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Date: 3 June 2010 10:22

Subject: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: “gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com” <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

03 June 2010

Dear Timple

Thank you for your further email to Ofcom on 25 May 2010.

As providers have tariffs that include cross network minutes, it is still unclear what benefit a website detailing all numbers and networks would have. Also, it may be helpful to explain that if such a website was created, this would need to be funded by the industry in order to keep it up to date. This may mean that the charge would be passed onto consumers and result in packages and other costs being raised.

We would recommend that, if a consumer finds their bills are increasing due to the cost of calling other networks, they should discuss with their provider about increasing their cross network minutes, or visit: http://www.billmonitor.com/ for other packages better suited to their needs.

Once again, thank you for your comments.

Yours sincerely

Kirby Sharpe

Central Operations, Telecoms Team

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Timple <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Date: 5 June 2010 14:58

Subject: Re: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Dear Kirby Sharpe,

My main point is that rather than have a mobile number on my bill

described as ‘mobile’. It would be very useful to have the actual

destination network. I.e. Vodafone mobile, Orange mobile’, Tesco

mobile. Even better would be a summary at the end showing total

minutes and charge to each network, including land networks.

The mobile phone companies know this info because they have to route

the calls, they just don’t show the info on the bill.

Simply to tell me to spend more on my monthly package is not really a

great answer for a regulator that is supposed to be about supporting

the consumer!

Is it not in ofcoms ethos to accept that sometimes ordinary members of

the public come up with good ideas?

Regards

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Date: 9 June 2010 12:43

Subject: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: “gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com” <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

09 June 2010

Dear Timple

Thank you for your further email to Ofcom on 5 June 2010.

I am sorry you feel I have not answered your points and taken your opinions on board. I would like to confirm that I have made a full record of these, which feed into our statistics to monitor consumer concerns.

As explained previously, both your ideas (networks detailed on the bill and a website containing numbers and service providers), are both initiatives that would need to be implemented and funded by the industry. Unfortunately, they are not issues which Ofcom could enforce.

For the industry to take either of these forward would mean it would have to be cost effective and would be a commercial decision for all the providers to make. As most providers include cross network minutes in the packages, this may not be seen as a necessity. Also, as previously explained, as the industry would need to fund this, the cost of doing so may be passed onto the consumer, resulting in packages being increased.

Turning to your last point with regards to increasing the cost of your package, I would like to apologise as I may have not made myself clear. Bill Monitor is a free comparison service which will allow you to find a provider and a package better suited to your needs. By using this service, you may be able to find a package which includes more cross network minutes without your monthly payment increasing. Alternatively, you may wish to contact your provider for alternative options, as previously explained.

I am sorry I cannot be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely

Kirby Sharpe

Central Operations, Telecoms Team

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Timple <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Date: 9 June 2010 13:40

Subject: Re: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Dear Kirby,

If any change imposed by Ofcom had to be cost free to the industry then Ofcom would never be able to impose any change. We both know that is not the case.

Lets forget the website – I am focussing on the fact that the bills given by Telecom providers (fixed and mobile) do not give sufficient information to consumers to make an informed choice about their best choice of provider. I would have thought this is something Ofcom would want to address being on the side of the consumer, competition and transparency. I would like ofcom to initially ask telecoms providers to provide such information in their bills and if they resist to get progressively “harder” in persuasion.

The alternative is of course that termination charges are greatly reduced – which would of course make it less relevant as to the identity of the network you are calling (since cross-network minutes would become much easier to offer). I know that the larger mobile incumbents are very resistive to such a move so perhaps asking them to at least provide greater information in the bills would be an alternative!

Regards

Timple

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Date: 10 June 2010 12:14

Subject: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: “gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com” <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

10 June 2010

Dear Timple

Thank you for your further email to Ofcom on 9 June 2010.

With regards to lowering the termination charge, it may be helpful to explain that the termination charge is not set at one price. Depending on how far the consumer is into a contract when they cancel, will depend on the amount of the charge. It may be helpful to explain that, customers who end contracts early should never have to pay more than the payments left under the contract – in fact they should often pay less, to reflect the costs providers save because the contract ends early.

I would recommend contacting your service provider about the charge if you wish to terminate your contract. You may also wish to view the terms and conditions of your contract.

I fully appreciate that having the network provider itemised on your bill would be beneficial for you. As previously explain, this is something Ofcom cannot enforce and is a commercial decision for the industry. You may wish to raise your opinions with your service provider. Unfortunately, there is no further advice I can dd.

Please be assured full records of your comments have been made.

Yours sincerely

Kirby Sharpe

Central Operations, Telecoms Team

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Timple <gazouts-radiohead@yahoo.com>

Date: 10 June 2010 12:57

Subject: Re: Ofcom reference: 1-147177122

To: OCCtelecoms <OCCtelecoms@ofcom.org.uk>

Kirby,

Are you really saying that Ofcom can’t enforce anything on the industry that would cause costs? That will be a nice quote from Ofcom 😉

BTW on the termination charges I was talking about the charges operators make to each other for terminating a call. The higher they are the more beneficial it is for larger networks since their own intra network calls cost them less and they make money on terminating the calls from other operators. 3 has a campaign to make them lower because being the smallest of the mobile networks are at a disadvantage. http://www.mobiletoday.co.uk/Mobile_Exec/2015_%E2%80%98not_soon_enough%E2%80%99_for_termination_rate_cut,_says_3.aspx I see that Ofcom is proposing to cut the rate to 0.5p per minute in 4 years time.

I think you’ve got my point now even if you don’t think it is that useful. I guess I would have to be a telecoms consultant or something and charge Ofcom for the advice in order for it to be given weight! Thanks anyway for the conversation.

Regards

Timple

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