My service provider has changed without my permission - what can I do?

man looking at billThere are various forms of mis-selling, one of which is known as slamming,  which is where customers are switched from one company to another without their knowledge or consent.

In some cases, you might only be aware of this once you’ve received a bill from a different company.

How to avoid being slammed

Here are some tips to help you avoid being “slammed”:

  • Be wary of giving out personal information over the phone
  • Only agree to something over the phone if you’re sure who you are talking to and what you’re signing up for; if you’re not sure, ask the caller to post the information to you first
  • Ask to see identification from doorstep sellers to check that they are representing the company they say they are
  • Don’t give out your direct debit details unless you’re certain you want to switch phone companies
  • Don’t sign anything unless you’ve read it and are sure of what you’re signing up for

What to do if you’ve been slammed

  • There are a number of safeguards built into the switching process for landline phones, which have been designed to ensure that you are protected from being “slammed”:
  • You will receive a letter from your old phone company, and also one from the new company informing you that you are moving provider
  • If you don’t want to move to a new phone company, you should call your old phone company where you have been slammed and your new company where you have simply changed your mind. If you do this within 10 days they will be able to put a stop to the switch and you can carry on as before
  • You should register a complaint using Ofcom’s online complaint form to tell us what’s happened and which companies are involved (See below).
  • If you are in the process of being transferred, you can contact your current provider and ask them to cancel the order. This should be possible up until 24 hours before the transfer is due to complete.
  • If the service has already transferred, you should contact your provider of choice and arrange for them to transfer the service back. If they experience difficulties trying to do this, you should ask them to explain why this is the case.
  • If you are aware of the company involved and wish to take the matter further, you should follow their official complaints procedure. If your dispute is still unresolved, and you are a residential or small business customer, you can raise the matter with the relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

How you can help us tackle slamming

Consumers continue to play a vital role in helping us tackle slamming.

Although we can’t investigate individual cases, your complaints can lead to us launching investigations and ultimately to us taking action.

By working with us to tackle slamming, you can help bring about much wider benefits for millions of consumers and ensure that others don’t fall victim to this form of mis-selling.

I want to complain about slamming