Ombudsman Services | Last updated Jun 15, 2021
Call diversion between landlines and mobiles can be a critical service for many customers. This case study explores our involvement in a case raised by a business owner around the impact of errors in this provision.
The customer owned a small pub and asked their communications provider to divert calls from their landline to the mobile phone of a staff member in order to facilitate bookings.
The staff member left the business so the customer asked to change the divert to their own mobile number. Initially, this worked as expected but after 90 days, they stopped receiving calls to make bookings. The customer was alerted to the issue on a Sunday as no calls had come through at a time when they would usually experience a certain volume of bookings.
The customer tested the divert by calling the landline number and noticed that calls were not diverting. They attempted to contact their communications provider but they were not open at the weekend.
The next day, the customer contacted their communications provider to discover that the new divert had been set up as a temporary divert in place for 90 days. From this time the diversion reverted to the original number, of the staff member who had left the business. The communications provider accepted that they had not informed the customer that the divert to a second number would only be in place for 90 days.
As a consequence of customer calls not being diverted to the correct mobile, the consumer estimated £2,000 of lost business. They asked the communications provider to cover these losses which they did not agree to rather offering to credit the cost of two months line rental in recognition of the error.
We found that the communications provider was at fault for failing to inform the customer that the divert to the new number would only be in place for 90 days. However, the customer had not substantiated their claims of lost business. Our team reviewed the customer’s social media postings on the day in question which suggested that they were busy with only a handful of tables available. Social media posts also explained the phone issue and gave an alternative number to call, which likely mitigated the impact of the incorrect divert.
Ultimately, the customer’s service was not working correctly for one day and the communications provider offered 60 days of free service to compensate. On the basis of all available evidence we concluded that the resolution proposed by the communications provider was reasonable. We required the communications provider to maintain its offer to provide two months free line rental to recognise that calls were diverted to the wrong number for one day.’