Industry watchdog Oftel has unveiled plans to create an independent telecoms panel that will resolve disputes between consumers and the industry.
Oftel said the independent telecoms ombudsman will be set up to examine and respond quickly to complaints from consumers about telcos.
After a year of ongoing complaints between consumers and telcos, including BT, Telewest and NTL, the formation of the ombudsman will be welcome news for consumers.
David Edmonds, Oftel's director general of telecoms, said: "The appointment of an independent telecoms ombudsman would show that the UK telecoms industry is serious about taking on more responsibility for resolving issues with customers."
The regulator said the panel will not replace the traditional complaints procedure at Oftel but will help to resolve some issues more quickly.
"At the moment, nine out of 10 complaints are dealt with satisfactorily, but occasionally the consumer is still unhappy. The only choices at the moment are legal or arbitrate procedures. The panel will look simply at quickly resolving telco issues for consumers," said an Oftel spokeswoman.
The ombudsman will be made up of an independent group of people, although further information has not been established. It will have the power to settle any dispute. Oftel said it has contacted the chief executive officers of all the major companies encouraging them to commit support for the scheme.
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