Without much song or dance, Ofcom’s most recent amends to their General Conditions, with new rules around giving end-customers more control over bundles and alerts, came into effect on 17th December 2021.
And with even more new guidance arriving mid-year, it’s important that every channel business looks at these new rules and definitions now, to ensure they don’t fall afoul, damaging brand credibility and prompting customers to look elsewhere.
If you want to read the whole presentation, you can download the slides here, or keep on reading for our abridged version and opinion on how this affects almost every reseller in the market…
New Ofcom definitions
A contract, or two or more closely related or linked contracts, at least one of which relates to the provision of an internet access service or a number-based interpersonal communications service. The other services/contracts which may comprise part of a “Bundle” include content services or terminal equipment (such as mobile handsets).
“Microenterprise / Small Enterprise Customer”
A business (that is not a communications provider) for which no more than 10 individuals work, whether as employees, volunteers or otherwise.
A body for which no more than 10 individuals work (whether as employees or otherwise but excluding volunteers), whose income is applied solely for charitable or public purposes, and which may not distribute its assets to its members.
What’s new in Ofcom’s General Conditions?
Taking these new definitions into account, resellers now must:
- Help consumers and Small Enterprise Customers manage their usage and spend on, communications services, as well as providing a way of monitoring and controlling their use.
- Give consumers and Small Enterprise Customers timely information on tariff usage and notify customers when allowances have been used-up.
- Provide consumers and Small Enterprise Customers with additional information on their usage, and the ability to set usage limits (either financial or volume-related).
And they’re not the only changes!
Ofcom is now defining any business with less than 10 team members as a ‘Microenterprise’, which is a significant step-change for resellers that cater to small businesses. If resellers don’t stay in line with these new conditions, they risk losing businesses to ‘The Big 4’ that can already provide these services.
“We were shocked at the number of resellers who reached out to us after discovering their legacy billing solutions were non-compliant with the recent Ofcom updates.”
– Harry McKeever, Director
But thankfully, these new hoops to jump through are a non-issue – for our clients at least – because ZOEY already has them covered…
ZOEY is the solution
Ever since we started building ZOEY from the ground-up in 2019, using our in-house development team, we’ve been integrating this level of flexibility and visibility to resellers and their end-users… and more!
We tick the boxes on all of these:
- ZOEY automatically imports and rates usage hourly .
- End-users can access their portal to see current consumption as %, £, and duration.
- They can also set two stages of alerts at any percentage, cost or time threshold.
- ZOEY sends automated SMS and email alerts at these stages.
- Resellers can customise body text in alerts, including customer specific placeholder values.
Furthermore, looking at the changes that will go live in July of this year, resellers will also need significantly more control over their pricing, and ability to batch-change rates in line with yearly inflation indexes like RPI and CPI.
Again, we ensure your team doesn’t have to manually adjust prices line-by-line, with ZOEY’s ability to re-rate as many lines as required, in just a few clicks!
So, if you’re worried about opening your operation up to more risk, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0203 972 3723, to understand the impact these updates will have on your day-to-day running and find a better way forward!