Consumer complaint against Opera Telecom and Switch Call Ltd about potential misuse of personal numbers

23 July 2004

Complainant: A member of the public
Complaint against: Opera Telecom Ltd and Switch Call Ltd
Case opened: 11 May 2004
Case closed: 21 July 2004
Issue: Possible misuse of personal numbers
Relevant instrument: Condition 17 of the General Conditions of Entitlement ("the Condition") which governs the allocation, adoption and use of telephone numbers.

Ofcom received a complaint that Opera Telecom Ltd and Switch Call Ltd were misusing personal numbers in contravention of the Condition.

Switch Call Ltd has disconnected the relevant numbers and those on which similar services were being provided. Any possible breach has therefore ceased and Ofcom has reminded Switch Call Ltd of its duty to act in accordance with the Condition.

Opera Telecom Ltd has also disconnected the relevant numbers and those on which similar services were being provided. Any possible breach in respect of these numbers has therefore ceased.

However, as Opera Telecom Ltd had previously been the subject of an Ofcom investigation into the misuse of personal numbers (CW/00749/02/04), Ofcom sought assurances from Opera Telecom Ltd that a sufficiently robust procedure was in place to prevent misuse of personal numbers. Opera Telecom Ltd has informed Ofcom that is has decided to disconnect all of its personal number services with effect from 5 August 2004. Any possible future breach should not therefore occur and, as a result, Ofcom has decided to close its investigation.

Case Leader: Ian Vaughan (email: Ian.Vaughan@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/00768/04/04

Text published when the case was opened

Complainant: A member of the public
Complaint against: Opera Telecom Ltd and Switch Call Ltd
Case opened: 11 May 2004
Issue: Possible misuse of personal numbers
Relevant instrument: Condition 17 of the General Conditions of Entitlement, which governs the allocation, adoption and use of telephone numbers.

Ofcom has opened an investigation into the possible misuse of 070 Personal Numbers allocated to Opera Telecom and Switch Call Ltd. The complainant has alleged that the numbers in question are not being used for personal numbering but in a manner more consistent with those categorised as Premium Rate Services.

Under the National Telephone Numbering Plan, 070 numbers are restricted for use solely in connection with Personal Numbering services which allow a subscriber to be reached at various destinations using the same number.

In the light of Ofcom's revised guidance on the use of the 070 number range, which was published on the 24 January 2004, Ofcom has decided to open an investigation into whether Opera Telecom and Switch Call Ltd are in breach of Condition 17 of the General Conditions of Entitlement.

Ofcom is investigating this matter under the Communications Act 2003.

Case Leader: Ian Vaughan (e-mail:Ian.Vaughan@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/00768/04/04