OPTA acts against slamming
OPTA, the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority has ordered KPN Telecom B.V. to take action against slamming. In the case of slamming a consumer’s telephone service provider changes without his consent. Slamming is a minor but persistent problem. OPTA feels that each incidence of slamming is one too many and is therefore monitoring all parties closely.
OPTA has decided that from now on KPN’s wholesale division must verify whether any telephone number that is supposed to be transferred is actually that of the relevant caller. This is important especially if the caller wishes to use carrier preselection (CPS). KPN is required to compare the stipulated telephone number with the postcode and street number of the relevant subscriber. In the event that they are not the same, the transfer may not go ahead. OPTA’s decision has raised the barrier against these undesired transfers.
The market parties themselves are also acting against slamming. Acting under the auspices of the telecommunications consultative body, FIST, the CPS providers and KPN have agreed in general terms to tighten and extend the existing code of conduct governing the transfer of numbers. Other stricter telemarketing standards have been agreed on and a compensation plan has been established for consumers who have been misled.
OPTA believes that this is a healthy development but is also concerned. This is because KPN Telecom demands of its competitors that they ensure that any consumers who wish to switch providers confirm this beforehand by means of a paper form. Verbal agreements – those occurring through telemarketing, amongst other things – would no longer be valid in this case. The effect of this action would be that KPN would make it more difficult for consumers to switch from one provider to another. At the same time, KPN would raise a barrier for new providers. Any disadvantaged market player may file a dispute with OPTA in this respect.
OPTA is closely monitoring developments involving slamming, so as to ensure that consumers are protected and that market forces continue to operate in the telecommunications market.
OPTA, the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority, has ordered KPN Telecom B.V. to take action against slamming. In the case of slamming a consumer’s telephone service provider changes without his consent. Slamming is a minor but persistent problem. OPTA feels that each incidence of slamming is one too many and is therefore monitoring all parties closely.