back to article Onestream slammed for 'slamming' vulnerable and elderly folk: That's £35k to Ofcom, please

Imagine a telco kicking down your front door, yelling "all your bills are belong to us" then leaving. In the industry parlance, it's known as "slamming" and Ofcom has fined Onestream £35,000 for the practice. An investigation by the UK comms regulator found that the Hampshire-based broadband and landline minnow, launched 2018 …

  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Only 30k?

    That's cheap.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Only 30k?

      10% of turnover in an industry with reasonably slim margins... it wouldn't surprise me if they go into liquidation instead.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Only 30k?

        10% of _turnover_ is 30k?

        That means we're talking about a "telco" with around 5000 "customers" (if that)

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Only 30k?

      Why no jail time , these bastards can easilly afford 30 K whereas 6 months in the slammer, for a first offence at least, would probably change their future ideas.

      At the moment they have nothing to worry about, except how to scam a further 30k to cover their immediate losses.

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The money, due within 20 working days, goes to the Treasury

    Nothing for their victims then? A pox upon their house.

    1. IB2

      Re: The money, due within 20 working days, goes to the Treasury

      Indeed in these days of totally meaningless consumer SLA best you get is your money back

    2. 0laf Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The money, due within 20 working days, goes to the Treasury

      £30k split 118 ways is £254 each.

      Still low for dealing with the hassle IMHO but better than nothing which is what they are getting now.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: The money, due within 20 working days, goes to the Treasury

        But it's not being split, it's going to the Treasury.

  3. Mr Dogshit

    Bring back Buzby

    This never happened under Her Brittanic Majesty's General Post Office

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Bring back Buzby

      Maybe that would have been due to the monopoly that Post Office Telephones had.

      A few years back in Spain, if you used the word si in any conversation while talking to one of Vodafone's telesales people, they would switch you to whatever they were trying to flog because you said 'yes'.

  4. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    pathetic

    but this is fraud, surely. pecuniary advantage by deception or some such.

    1. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: pathetic

      My thoughts too essentially they have gained access to customer bank accounts by fraud, levied charges which were never agreed to by the other party and gathered information on people without consent.

      In which way does this warrant a £30K fine? They should be shut down and the directors personally liable for compensation. What's the point in having a watchdog with no teeth?

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: pathetic

        Indeed, there should be jail time for this, not a miniscule fine which they'll probably claim inability to pay, fold the business and restart their BS under a different name.

        1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: pathetic

          Yup, Directors should be in Court if the business has been conducting fraud.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: pathetic

            Based on the quote from the company, it was a rogue telesales operator wot dun it.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: pathetic

        The fine is levied by Ofcom - and is additional to (and in no way precludes) any private legal action by victims.

        The fact that the fines have been levied by Ofcom is more than sufficient level of proof for civil courts.

  5. regbadgerer

    Isn't this just theft?

    Taking money for a service you didn't ask for sounds a lot like theft. I really struggle to work out how these people don't end up in court on a theft charge.

    On a different note, kudos to the regulator/legislators for making it 10% of _turnover_ rather than _profit_. We all know how quickly companies suddenly discover their profit is zero when the treasury come looking for their slice. *cough* amazon *cough*

  6. John Savard Silver badge

    Explanation

    I suppose the penalty is so mild only because there's no way to prove that the company actually condoned the practice. It could have been done in violation of the rules by "lazy" employees trying to meet an impossible sales quota.

    Just enough deniability to prevent what should happen in cases like this: the company is confiscated from its owners, so that it ceases to exist while service continues to be provided to its customers.

    But still, at least there could have been laws on the books that would send the call center employee who switched their services over without authorization to prison for up to 14 years. This wouldn't be as good as putting those in charge of the company in prison, but it would still have the effect of preventing this from happening again - as they would find no employees willing to do that kind of thing, if it is what they wanted.

  7. Robin Saunter

    On-stream...Onecom?

    Is this company linked to Onecom, a Hampshire based mobile phone service reseller who grabbed my Vodafone account a few years ago?

    1. Forum McForumface
      Thumb Up

      Re: On-stream...Onecom?

      Companies House says they share an address (Onecom House) and they’ve had a director in common.

      So... there might be a link there.

    2. Ray Foulkes

      They "grabbed" mine too..

      I assumed that Vodafone had "sold me" to Onecom since I still pay vodafone, log into vodafone etc. However, I cannot run the vodafone app on my portable, nor can Vodafone reps do anything with my account. That being said, Onecom have not been that bad to deal with recently e.g. getting a new sim. They answered the phone call pretty quickly.

    3. HAM5ter84

      Re: On-stream...Onecom?

      It is indeed. To be fair been with One stream and when we had issues they have sorted it out and not added charges that haven't been agreed. Sadly I think they have had some bad potatoes in sales looking for bonus no care the consequences.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "ensuring there can be no repetition of the mistakes that were made."

    Sorry, but there was no mistake there. This was a calculated and programmed operation with a specific target market, and the people responsible for putting this in place should definitely go to jail.

    And the CEO should be first in line, because that's where the buck stops.

    Our society is not going get better any time soon if we can't teach the right lesson to the criminals in white collars.

  9. Loatesy

    "Proven and respected industry professionals now hold key positions within the Onestream organisation who, working closely with independent consultants have revised all processes and implemented best practice to achieve positive change,"

    Bollocks.

    Standard industry response.

    1. VulcanV5

      "Proven and respected industry professionals" are renowned for chasing after key positions in companies with small turnovers and massive reputational damage. It's a well known fact. They rush to answer recruitment ads such as: "Proven and respected industry professionals urgently needed to replace knuckle-dragging sociopaths on our payrol."

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