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News - 8 April 2006
Be careful who you talk to

Telecoms gansters prey on small businesses

British Telecom has surveyed businesses and found that nearly 60% of them have been subjected to misleading and deceitful sales calls from unscrupulous telecoms companies attempting to win their business.

Mis-selling has been growing over the last few years and the trend is likely to continue. The BT survey suggests that small businesses are among the worst hit. They are also the least able to take action against the rogue traders.

Businesses reported that one of the more extreme tactics is where the rogue trader places an order to switch their phone service without their consent. This is known in the trade as ‘slamming’ and businesses in Brighton have been subjected to such dealings.

Among smaller companies interviewed (those with fewer than five employees) 65% said they experienced the deviant tactics of some telecom companies. Of all the businesses surveyed, 15% said they had been locked into a contract after being misled about the terms. On average, they were stuck with the contract for more than 18 months.

BT is calling for the industry to work together to protect small businesses from rogue practices.


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