What can I do about slamming?

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 express knowledge and/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 before agreeing to sign up to anything
  • 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 telephone and broadband services, 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 switching provider and the date that the switch is due to take place.
  • If you don’t want to move to a new phone company, you should contact the provider who has taken over your service and tell them you did not agree to the transfer. If you do this within 10 days they will be able to put a stop to the transfer and you can carry on as before. 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. This should be possible up until 24 hours before the transfer is due to complete but it is best to do this at least 48 hours before the scheduled transfer date.
  • 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 the service has already been switched, you should contact your provider of choice and arrange for them to switch 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

Updated: September 2015