Click here for an overview of our recent work to strengthen the consumer voice in the communications sector.

17 February 2021

We recently published an impacts report on our initiatives established to help strengthen the consumer voice in the communications sector. 

  • The Panel’s Industry Forum provides a ‘safe space’ for communications providers to get together with Panel facilitators to discuss consumer harm and help drive-up best practice.
  • The UK Consumer Advocacy Hub provides an opportunity for consumer advocacy bodies to come together and share knowledge and awareness of the types of issues facing consumers nationally – and we discuss our mutual and separate plans to protect consumers.
  • The Panel’s National Stakeholder Hubs are attended by wide-ranging organisations and capture the voices of citizens, consumers and micro-businesses across the UK. Our discussions identify areas of consumer harm and we feed these back to the regulator, governments and communications providers to help drive-up best practice and improve the experiences of consumers in the communications sector.

Our discussions with industry, consumer advocacy bodies and stakeholders across the UK Nations have helped us to ensure that consumer needs are weaved into business and policy across the UK communications sector and we will continue to drive forward this programme of work in the year ahead. Please click here to our access our report.

We recently held the latest round of the Panel’s National Hubs – focusing on the affordability of communications services and consumer debt. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, digital connectivity has never been so important to keep consumers, citizens and micro-businesses connected. The pandemic has also highlighted how precarious people’s financial circumstances can become when events occur out of our control.

Our stakeholders told us how affordability and debt affect the consumers they represent and how Ofcom and/or providers could help to mitigate these issues.

We have welcomed the pace and efforts that the UK Government, Ofcom and industry have already taken to help support consumers through the pandemic, particularly people with specific communications needs or who are going through a life event. We’re keen to work with stakeholders to make sure that consumers who need it can benefit from the help available to them. Please click here to access the joint statement from the Government, Ofcom and the telecommunications industry.

Ofcom Policy Managers also attended the Hub meetings and provided an overview of recent and ongoing work around affordability in the communications sector. Please click here to find out more about this work.

If you are interested in taking part in our National Hubs, please e-mail us: contact@communicationsconsumerpanel.org.uk We welcome input from a diverse range of organisations and voices representing consumers, citizens and micro-businesses across the UK. For more information on the National Hubs, please click here.

We have recently responded to Ofcom’s consultations on protecting voice-only landline telephone customers and its draft plan of work 2021/22. Please click here to read our consultation responses.

 

Over the next few weeks, please look out for…

  • Our soon to be published summary of discussions across the UK Nations on affordability of communications services and consumer debt.
  • We will soon be consulting on our strategic priorities 2021/22 and beyond - we welcome your thoughts and comments.
  • We will be responding to Ofcom’s recently published consultation on quick, easy and reliable switching. New switching rules for providers of landline, broadband and mobile services will come into force in December 2022 and the consultation sets out proposals on the process that residential landline and broadband customers will use to switch from that date. If you would like to have your say on behalf of consumers, please click here to access the consultation document and you will find contact details on the page.

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