Response to Ofcom’s new vulnerability guidance

Ombudsman Services | August 04 2020

People suffering financial, health or emotional problems should be treated fairly and given the right support by phone, broadband and pay-TV providers, under best practice industry guidance issued by Ofcom today.

Jane Rumble, director of consumer policy at Ofcom said: “We’re setting out industry best practice to help ensure vulnerable people are treated fairly and sympathetically by their phone, broadband and pay-TV providers.

“This is especially important at a time when many customers may be worried about their physical and mental health, as well as their finances.”

Ed Dodman, director of regulatory affairs at Ombudsman Services, welcomed the publication of the guidance.

He said: “This guidance gives telecoms providers a clear framework for ensuring vulnerable customers are treated fairly and get the support they need.

“We are particularly pleased to see Ofcom encouraging companies to use complaints data as a way of informing their approach to vulnerability.

“Many of the themes included in the regulator’s new guidance have been discussed in the vulnerability workshops that we have been holding for telecoms providers over the past couple of years.

“We know from these sessions that there is a commitment amongst providers to do the right thing by vulnerable customers. Today’s announcement will help to ensure a consistent approach across the sector to the challenging issue of vulnerability.”