Publication of a league table listing the UK's most complained about phone operators has been delayed indefinitely by telecoms watchdog Oftel because it has had so many responses.
Oftel intended to start the scheme, which includes a 'top 10' of the most complained about operators, in May. But this week it said has received so many complaints that it needs more time to sort them out.
Users said they were disappointed by the delay and expressed concern that the scheme was getting second class treatment by Oftel.
Oftel receives approximately 40,000 complaints a year and is required to consider all complaints and enquiries. As part of this process, Oftel director general David Edmonds said last November that complaints would be published every six months starting in May.
The published document is expected to include a list of the top 10 complaints for the period and the top 10 companies complained about in the period.
But this week an Oftel spokeswoman said the regulator was still sifting through "reams and reams" of complaints and could not give an indication of when the report would eventually be published.
"We've had to defer in order to make sure the information going to the public is relevant to all the people who want to use it," the spokeswoman said. "We can publish everything we've got, but it would make no sense."
The Telecommunication Users' Association (TUA) said it had been very encouraged by the plans to publish the complaints, but when they did not materialise in May it wrote to Oftel asking why not.
"We wrote in, but were disturbed to hear that there is no anticipated release date," said TUA membership services manager, Steve Thorpe.
Reports that the UK's three main cable operators could merge soon made quick publication of the complaints even more important, he said.
"If we wait long enough, there won't be enough companies out there to compare competition between," Thorpe said.
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