Own-initiative investigation into KCT UK Limited concerning compliance with General Condition 24 – sales and marketing of fixed-line telecommunications services

19 April 2011

Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative investigation following complaints from consumers
Investigation against: KCT UK Limited (KCT)
Case opened: 1 December 2010
Case closed: 18 April 2011
Issue: Whether KCT has complied with its obligations under General Condition 24 of the General Conditions of Entitlement
Relevant Instrument: General Condition 24 (GC24) concerning the Sales and Marketing of Fixed-Line Telecommunications Services.

Ofcom has decided to close this investigation, following confirmation through Companies House that KCT is to be wound up voluntarily, and that a liquidator was appointed on 25 March 2011. Ofcom will continue to monitor any related complaints under its programme of monitoring and enforcement of fixed-line providers compliance with rules concerning their sales and marketing activities and their use of Cancel Other.

Update note: 28 February 2011

Following information from consumers and Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman (Otelo), Ofcom has serious concerns that currently consumers may not have access to alternative dispute resolution for unresolved complaints against KCT. This is particularly significant given that Ofcom continues to receive a high number of consumer complaints against KCT. General Condition 14.5 (GC14.5) requires all Communications Providers to implement and comply with a Dispute Resolution Scheme. As such, Ofcom believes it is appropriate to investigate whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that KCT has breached GC14.5, and has therefore decided to extend its current investigation into KCT to include compliance with GC14.5.

End of Update note

Update note: 20 December 2010

In line with Ofcoms exploration of KCTs compliance with other sections of GC24 as appropriate, Ofcom will be specifically including KCTs use of Cancel Other (GC 24.14-24.18) as part of this investigation. This follows receipt of complaints from customers of KCT, which allege that KCT has cancelled their orders to transfer their fixed-line telephone services to other providers, without their consent or knowledge.

End of Update note

Ofcom has opened this investigation following an increase in complaints from consumers who claim to have been mis-sold a fixed-line telephone service by KCT, or have had their service switched to KCT without their consent.

Ofcoms investigation will examine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that KCT has failed to comply with the requirements of GC24 concerning the mis-selling prohibition (GC24.3) and the provision of information at the point of sale (GC24.6). The investigation will also explore KCTs compliance with other sections of GC24 as appropriate.

Case Leader: Jasminder Oberoi (email: jasminder.oberoi@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/01062/12/10