Ofcom publishes framework to improve fairness for customers

23 January 2020

Ofcom has today published a framework outlining how we will judge whether customers are being treated fairly by telecoms and pay-TV companies.

Fairness for Customers logoThis is the latest step in our Fairness for Customers programme, which last year saw all of the UK’s biggest providers make a landmark commitment to put fairness first.

Ensuring fairness for customers is a priority for Ofcom. We want providers to put fairness at the heart of their businesses, and we want people to be treated fairly by their provider and to get a good deal.

When we’re assessing concerns about fairness, we will consider the following questions:

  • How do providers treat customers throughout the customer journey? We will look at whether customers are given clear information to help them make the right decisions; whether it is straightforward for them to complain; and whether problems are fixed promptly.
  • Who is being harmed, if anyone? We will pay particular attention to whether any vulnerable customers have been affected.
  • What is the extent of the harm, if any? We will consider whether customers have faced significant harm; whether many customers are affected; and whether a problem has persisted for a long time.
  • How important is the service? We will consider whether the service in question is important or essential to customers.
  • Does the service depend on risky new investment? We will look at whether the service is an existing service that has little need for new investment.

We will use the framework to help us assess concerns that are brought to our attention through complaints or through our own market monitoring. We will also use it to help us decide whether we need to intervene, and if so, how.

We will continue to keep an eye on customers’ experiences, and make sure companies stick to what they have promised.