Talk Talk and Tiscali UK have had their knuckles severely rapped by regulator Ofcom after an investigation revealed the ISPs had repeatedly breached telecoms rules by issuing bills for services that weren't provided.
The two firms, which both belong to the TalkTalk Group, were found to have issued bills for services consumers had cancelled, leading to over a thousand complaints to the regulator.
"Ofcom is determined to stand up for consumers and take action against companies that break the rules," said Ofcom's director of consumer affairs, Claudio Pollack.
"Our investigation into TalkTalk and Tiscali UK found that they had billed customers for cancelled services; this is unacceptable which is why we have ordered them to clean up their act or face the consequences."
The firms will now be issued with a legally-binding Notification requiring them to comply with the rules, known as a 'General Condition', by 2 December or face further enforcement action. The maximum penalty is a fine of 10 per cent of turnover.
Complaints range from a broadband customer who continued to receive bills two years after cancelling his service with Tiscali, to another who made payments to Tiscali totalling £609.97 for services it had billed her for but not provided.
Although this particular notice deals mainly with complaints in the consumer sphere, billing and other related non-technical issues are pretty rife in the business broadband space too, so it's good to see Ofcom taking a hard line.
Customer service in the industry still leaves a great deal to be desired so let's hope others take note that continued bad practice will not go unnoticed.
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