Ofcom hosts event to explore the needs of vulnerable customers

20 May 2019

Last week Ofcom held a workshop which looked at how telecoms firms can better meet the needs of vulnerable customers.

The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness and share good practice for meeting the needs of people whose circumstances might lead to them becoming vulnerable. This is a key step in making sure all customers are treated equally.

The event was attended by representatives from telecoms firms, consumer groups, charities and other regulators.

They shared their expertise and experiences of different consumer situations, enabling attendees to hear how different organisations are working in this area and to propose solutions for how things could be improved for vulnerable customers.

The topics discussed included:

  • how providers can identify vulnerable customers;
  • how to offer services that meet vulnerable customers’ needs;
  • how to communicate effectively with vulnerable customers; and
  • how firms can demonstrate they are meeting the needs of vulnerable customers.

Representatives from telecoms firms, consumer groups, charities and other regulators participating in the event

Treating vulnerable customers fairly

In October 2018 we introduced new rules to help ensure telecoms firms are treating vulnerable customers fairly. We have been working with the larger firms to find out how they are complying with the new rules. However, we wanted to reach out to a wider range of companies.

The workshop’s findings will be used to help us to put together a good practice guide on vulnerable customers. We are aiming to publish this in July.

It will provide practical tips and examples to help firms comply with the new rules and offer great services to all customers – including those who are facing difficult personal circumstances.

We are also developing plans to hold events around the UK on this topic later this year.