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Will OFCOM Help Stop Fredrickson International Abusing & Bullying You?

Well yes, up to a point.

After a poor experience on their website I emailed OFCOM and outlined my problems with Fredrickson International Ltd. criminal abuse of the public telephone system, and their illegal physical and psychological harrassment of me.

Today I received a timely and helpful email from a member of OFCOM’s Central Operations, Telecoms Team. I repeat this email in full below:

27 January 2010

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email to Ofcom on 26 January 2010 about unsolicited text messages received.
I understand it must be frustrating receiving persistent messages to your landline. Whilst BT is not your service provider, we would expect them to look into the issue as it is a service they provide. Ultimately, you will need to contact your own provider to inform them on the messages and ask about choose to refuse services.

It may be of interest to know that direct unsolicited marketing is covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. The Regulations are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You may wish to contact the ICO for advice and information. It can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700
Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Web: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Although we do not become involved in individual disputes I have logged your complaint here. This feeds into the statistics which we collate to monitor trends in consumer concerns. Where we see a rise in similar complaints against the same company we may take further action.

I am sorry that you have had difficulty trying to contact us through our website. I can confirm I have made a note of your experience.
I hope this information is useful.

Yours faithfully,

Central Operations, Telecoms Team

There is an interesting sentence in the above which I repeat here in italics: Whilst BT is not your service provider, we would expect them to look into the issue as it is a service they provide.

Well, yes, that was what I thought and believed, but it clearly is not so. BT’s response to my letter to their CEO is covered on the Will BT Stop Fredrickson International Abusing & Bullying You? post, but i will repeat it here so as to underline the disparate views of OFCOM and BT:

Hi Mr Brown

Thanks for getting back to me today to discuss the issues you raised with Ian Livingston.
I am very sorry that you are receiving unwanted text messages from another company. I realise how distressing this is, especially when there is no reason for the company to contact you.

As we discussed unfortunately although Frederickson International may rent their telephony from BT, we would not get involved in a dispute that they have with one of their customers concerning calls they are making to them. We are not a regulatory body, and we cannot make a decision on whether one of our customers is acting inappropriately with a third party. There are organisations set up to do this on behalf of customers.

My advice would be to firstly contact the company making the calls to escalate with them. Secondly if the company is pursuing you for a debt that you no longer have, the Office of Fair Trading may also be able to assist you, alternatively I would contact the relevant regulatory body for financial services, who may also intervene.

If the issue is nuisance calls, or texts, then your own service provider should give you help and advice on how to stop this.
If you believe that a criminal act has been committed then you can also contact the police.
Unfortunately BT are unable to prevent the calls from coming through to you. This is why the advisors you have spoken to have not been able to assist you.

I am very sorry that I cannot help any further, but I believe that to resolve this you really need to pursue via one of the avenues listed above.

I shall call you tomorrow to ensure that you received my email and how you would like to proceed.

Many thanks

Executive Level Complaints, British Telecom.

The phrase: We are not a regulatory body, and we cannot make a decision on whether one of our customers is acting inappropriately with a third party. There are organisations set up to do this on behalf of customers.

Is very telling. Call me old fashioned, but I thought that the regulatory body that deals with abuse of the public telephone network is OFCOM, and OFCOM have stated above that BT ’should look into the issue’ for me. Clearly BT are not prepared to do this.
A full set of my comments on BT’s reply is made on the Will BT Stop Fredrickson International Abusing & Bullying You? post.

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