Monday, 16 May 2011

Ofcom: Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation

Ofcom has introduced new restrictions on the way that telephone numbers are issued to communications providers to ensure the best use of numbers and to better protect consumers from scams, fraud and other forms of abuse. A test has been incorporated into the process for allocating numbers to communications providers known as the Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation (‘the CPT’).

The Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation focuses on communications providers which have used numbers to cause serious or repeated harm to consumers. 

Ofcom will not allocate 070 personal numbers, 0871/2/3 special service higher rate numbers and 09 premium rate numbers to anyone who appears on either of two lists and Ofcom strongly encourages all providers that assign telephone numbers to others to take best use of numbers and consumer protection into account and to refer to the following two lists when making assignment decisions.

For more information on the CPT and check the Consumer Protection Test Number Refusal List, visit Ofcoms website: Consumer Protection Test for telephone number allocation

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

When is a hosted PBX not a hosted PBX?

I was talking to the Managing Director of Eloquent Technologies last week when he told me about a recent bid that he had submitted for a hosted solution for a new client. They had submitted their proposal and were moving forward with finalisation of the contract when the client called up advising that they had received a much cheaper price and what could they do to better the quote.

He asked them for a copy of the rival quote as their pricing had been very keen and he was intrigued to see how this new proposal stacked up.

What he discovered was truly shocking. The so called “hosted” solution consisted of an HP server connected to the internet via a standard broadband line with no quality quarantine or SLA which for the type of applications that they were considering to run and the mission critical nature of their requirements made this proposal totally unsuitable.

This same scenario happens time and again with hosted telephony solutions, where unsuitable services or infrastructure for running a hosted telephone system is suggested to the client. However, because the quote is much cheaper, it means that the client will seriously consider the proposed solution or even select the service before asking any questions. The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” rings out loud and clear.

So do your research, ask the detailed questions and if it sounds cheap ask “what do you do differently to other suppliers?” The cheapest solutions are not always the best and a cheap buy can very soon turn into an expensive buy with all the grief and headaches to match.