Ofcom to push changes, providers not to charge caller display

Ofcom will be introducing a number of changes next year to protect consumers and has announced the removal of charges by providers for caller display as one of such moves. In 2018, from 1st October, Ofcom will push changes through. Removal of charges like these are welcome as they have been known to catch people out. However, the revenue raised from caller display options may well be spread over their full customer base and on the downside it could hike the line rental component on a DSL service that never has a phone plugged in and where caller ID is not relevant.

The changes come into force as part of the General Conditions of Entitlement and to summarise changes, they are as follows. # Providers will be banned from charging for caller display facility. # Numbers that are invalid or non-dialable, will have to be blocked by the provider. # Providers to meet a new requirement to have effective policies to identify vulnerable customers, thus to ensure fair and appropriate treatment. # Providers to offer disabled users accessible bills, third party bill management and priority fault repair for broadband services. # To ensure prompt and effective dealing of complaints and to faster resolution of disputes on reaching of deadlocks, rules on complaint handling will see changes. # Fair and transparent policies regarding debt collection and when they will disconnect service, will have to be made available by mobile and broadband providers. # Billing accuracy rules that are applicable to voice calls will be extended to broadband.

Although this is a positive move by the regulator, considering the 12 months to go before it comes into force, means there will be time for exploitation with faked caller ID by the dishonest. The online world has seen more exploitation by criminal elements recently, with many falling victim to online scams, with fraudulent telephone calls seen targeting innocent victims to gain trust and fleece their money, by compromising their online identity and computers.

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