Ofcom has unveiled a shockingly low level of operator assistance for disabled customers, with some carriers not even aware of the services they offer.
The UK regulator says it could issue fines of up to 10% of carrier’s turnover if they don’t take action to address patchy publicity of the special services they offer, after discovering almost 20% of sales staff didn’t know their firms offered any.
Research conducted in 1,271 mystery shopper calls between August 2009 and March 2010 revealed a general decline in the standard of information available from all major UK communications providers.
Just 37% of staff offered details of special services spontaneously, and while the number hit 75% after prompting, that figure is down from 91% in 2006.
Information about a text phone service for deaf users was offered in 49% of calls compared to 78% in 2006, and customers with cognitive impairments were offered third party account and bill management by just 21% of staff.
Ofcom says most carriers have agreed to improve their publicity of special services, but warned that it will consider fines if performances don’t improve in follow-up research.