GB Technologies Ltd. Codes of Practice

Including our Basic Code of Practice, Code of Practice for Sales and Marketing, Complaint Handling
and Dispute Resolution and our Code of Practice for Premium Rate Services and NTS calls.

Part 1 - GB Technologies Ltd - basic Code of Practice for Small Business Customers

Introduction to our Company and Services

GB TECHNOLOGIES LTD is an independent company that delivers communications services to domestic and small business customers. While we may not provide all the component parts of our services ourselves, we do take responsibility for the services delivered to you. So we will liaise with our suppliers to ensure that any problems with their services are resolved promptly.

Purpose of this Code of Practice

This code informs you about our products, services, customer-care policies and where to find information about our charges and terms and conditions. This Code of Practice is published on our website www.gbtechnologies.co.uk Additional copies are available on request and free of charge to any domestic and small business customer. It is also available in alternative formats.

How to contact us

  • By phone: 01896 752607
  • By fax: 01896 661308
  • By email: sales@gbtechonologies.co.uk
  • By website: www.gbtechnologies.co.uk
  • By letter: GB Technologies Ltd, Netherdale Industrial Estate, Galashiels, TD1 3EY, Selkirkshire, Scotland

Our commitment to you

We are committed to giving you the highest quality of customer service. When we purchase our services from wholesale providers, we choose those providers carefully to ensure that you get a high-quality service. We make every reasonable effort to supply services that satisfy your requirements. We work to all relevant laws and regulations.

Our products and services

For more details on any of our products and services, or to place an order immediately, please contact our Customer Service Team on 01896 752607.

Marketing

We work to the principles in the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing, which are set out on the website www.cap.org.uk.

Terms and conditions

When you subscribe to a service from GB Technologies Ltd, we will send you our Standard Terms and Conditions and ask you to sign a contract, if applicable. If you have any questions, please phone our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607. We may carry out a credit check as part of our assessment procedures.

Where a minimum contract term applies, this will be 12, 24, 36, 60 months or as agreed in your contract. We aim to provide services as soon as possible however this is subject to carrier SLA’s/ delays, and the availability and installation of any equipment. If we need to carry out a survey of your premises or lay additional cabling, we will inform you of the revised timescales as soon as we can.

Cancellation

If you decide to cancel your order or agreement before we have provided the services, you may do so without charge within ten working days of your order being placed. For cancellations after ten working days we will charge you an administration fee as set out in your contract. If you wish to terminate your contract within the minimum term, please call our Customer Service Helpdesk on 01896 752 607. We will charge you a fee as set out in your contract. After the minimum term you can cancel any service by calling our Customer Service Helpdesk on 01896 752 607, giving us three months’ notice.

Faults & Repairs

Please call our Fault Service Team on 01896 752 607 if you experience a fault with any of our services. We aim to have this investigated and repaired within 5 days.

Compensation and refund policy

Our policy is to assess each claim on a case by case basis. We aim to investigate any claims and respond within 5 working days. Any refunds that are due will be credited to the next month’s invoice.

Price lists

Our pricing structure is available from our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607. We will write to you in advance if we change the pricing structure on your products and services.

Bills

We will bill you monthly. You can choose to pay us via a range of options including credit card, cheque and direct debit. These are agreed at the start of your contract. If you wish to change your method of payment at any time, please call our Customer Service Team. We provide itemised bills as part of our service to you. If you have difficulty paying your bill, please contact us on 01896 752 607 and we will try to arrange a different method of payment. We will do all we can to help our residential and small business customers to manage their bills and avoid disconnection. In any event, you will be given 48 hours’ notice of any decision to disconnect your services.

If you are moving home or office

Please call our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607 no later than 6 weeks before your move date. We will amend your account and billing requirements as necessary. We will endeavour to offer you the same telephone number to minimise disruption but please note that for geographic numbers this is not always possible.

Number porting

GB Technologies Ltd recognise that keeping your existing telephone numbers may be important to you. If you move your business to us and wish to keep the number that you have with your old provider, we will arrange it if you ask us. We will work with you to ensure that the services are switched over at a convenient and appropriate time. For more information, please call our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607.

Directory Entries

You are entitled to a Directory Entry listing (including an entry in the Phone Book) for both your fixed and mobile telephone numbers. If you do want your details included, please contact our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607.

Complaint

We make every effort to ensure that our customers are happy with the level of service, and the products and service they receive from us. However, despite our best efforts, things can go wrong. We take customer complaints very seriously and aim to resolve them quickly and efficiently.

Our Code of Practice on Complaint Handling and Dispute Resolution explains how customers can complain. The code also provides information on how we deal with complaints and your right to take unresolved complaints to Alternative Dispute Resolution. You can find a copy of our Complaints Code on our website at www.gbtechnologies.co.uk. Alternatively, copies are available free of charge and on request from our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607.

Nuisance Calls

We take the problem of nuisance calls and malicious communications very seriously. We tackle it by working closely with the police and others in the communications industry. If you have been a victim of this activity, please call the Customer Service Team on 01896 752607 to report the incident and for information on how to deal with it.

Services for people with special needs

We are committed to helping all our customers to communicate easily. We offer the following additional services on request for customers who are older or who may have a disability, including:

  • Priority access to the Customer Service Team 01896 752607
  • Priority fault repair and assistance
  • Additional help and support if you have difficulty paying your bill
  • A free Directory Enquiries service for people who are unable to use the printed phone book
  • Copies of bills in large print, on computer disc (or in Braille) for customers who have difficulty reading their bill

Copies of this Code are available in larger print.

Data protection

We comply fully with our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Part 2 - GB Technologies Ltd - Code of Practice for Premium Rate

Purpose of this Code of Practice

This code informs you, our domestic/small business customers about our about our policies on providing information about Premium Rate Service (PRS) and Number Translation Service (NTS) calls and on our charging policy for calls to PRS and NTS numbers.

Premium Rate Services

Premium rate services (PRS) are telephone numbers that offer some form of information or entertainment that is charged to your phone bill. UK-based PRS numbers are normally prefixed by “09” or “118”. Numbers starting 087 are also designated as Premium Rate numbers and subject to PRS regulation when they cost 7p per minute or more. Typical services include TV votelines, mobile ringtone downloads, technical helplines, charity fund-raising and adult entertainment.

Charges for these services are made up of two parts, a service charge and an access charge and the total is added to your telephone bill. You will see the service charge advertised by the company providing the service alongside the number and this can be between 7p and £3.60 per minute, or £6 per call or per text (including VAT) for 08 and 09 prefixes. Calls to 118 services can cost up to £15.98 per call plus a £7.99 per minute charge (including VAT). The access charge is kept by us, your phone company. Our access charge for calling these services is shown in our price list, which is available on request from our Customer Services Team and via our website.

If you have a problem with PRS, we can help. We can provide advice on checking the telephone number of any PRS charges that appear on your bill and will try to help you identify the premium rate service provider. We can use call barring to restrict access to “09” numbers. Please call our Customer Service Team on 01896 752 607 for advice on this. We can give you a factsheet on PRS.

You can also ask for help from the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) which is the industry-funded regulatory body for Premium Rate Services. PSA operates a Code of Practice that sets out standards for the operation of PRS. You can use the PSA website at www.psauthority.org.uk to check PRS numbers direct and find contact details for the company in question or to submit a complaint. PSA has the legal powers to require a provider of PRS to amend its service or promotional material (or both) and can also order refunds and impose penalties on service providers for breaches of the PSA Code. For other ways to contact Phone-paid Services Authority, see the “Useful addresses” section below.

Number Translation Services

Number translation services (NTS) are based on numbers that are normally prefixed “08”. For example, 0800 and 0808 are used to provide freephone services (some freephone services are also provided on 0500 numbers). Numbers starting 084 are normally used for customer service helplines. 087 numbers are used for information services, technical helplines and telephone banking. They are also used by organisations to help them provide call-management features such as intelligent call routing and fax-to-email services. Numbers starting 087 are also designated as Premium Rate numbers and subject to PRS regulation when they cost 7p per minute or more. Personal numbers prefixed 070 are also used for providing NTS such as “follow me” type services.

Charges for calling services on NTS numbers are made up of two parts, a service charge and an access charge and the total is added to your telephone bill. You will see the service charge advertised by the company providing the service alongside the number and this can range from free up to 13p per minute or per call (including VAT). The access charge is kept by us, your phone company. Our access charge for calling these services is shown in our price list, which is available on request from our Customer Services Team and via our website. We can also give you a factsheet on NTS.

If you are unhappy with the help you have received from us on a problem with PRS or NTS, please contact Cara Jane Barnes tel 01896 752607 or email networks@gbtechnologies.co.uk, who has responsibility for compliance with our code of practice for PRS and NTS. You may also complain using the complaints procedure set out in our complaints code including, ultimately, referring your complaint to Ombudsman Services.

Internet diallers

If you use the Internet via a dial up connection, it is possible for software to be placed on your computer without you knowing - using the same methods as for computer viruses. This type of software (known as Internet or rogue diallers) can then make calls to PRS and NTS numbers without your knowledge. Software is available to detect this activity and we can help you to access this - please contact our Customer Services Team for details. Phone-paid Services Authority has been given responsibility for policing this type of activity and you can contact them via www.psauthority.org.uk to ask for help or to report examples of this type of abuse. For other ways to contact Phone-paid Services Authority, see the “Useful Addresses” section below. We can also help by barring calls to 09 numbers.

The Telephone Preference Service

If you don’t want to get sales and marketing calls you have not requested, you can add your details to a list run by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). If your number is on the list, it is illegal for a company to call you for marketing purposes. You can contact the Telephone Preference Service via www.tpsonline.org.uk or by telephoning 0845 070 0707.

Useful addresses

  • The Ombudsman Services 3300 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, Warrington, Cheshire, WA4 4HS Tel: 0330 440 1614 email: osnquiries@os-communications.org Website: www.ombudsman-services.org
  • Ofcom Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA. Tel: 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333 email: contact@ofcom.org.uk Website: www.ofcom.org.uk
  • Phone-paid Services Authority C40 Bank Street London, E14 5N. Tel: 0800 500212 or 020 7940 7474 Website: www.psauthority.org.uk
  • Telephone Preference Service DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS Tel: 0845 0700707 Website: www.tpsonline.org.uk
  • Federation of Communication Services (FCS)Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1AT. Tel: 020 7186 5432 email: fcs@fcs.org.uk Website: www.fcs.org.uk

This code has been licensed by The Federation of Communication Services Limited 2017
Licence number 001907
Published May 2017. Correct at the time of printing. © The Federation of Communication Services Limited 2017

GB Technologies Ltd - Sales & Marketing Codes of Practice

Code of Practice for Sales and Marketing of Fixed-Line Telephone Services

 

Introduction and overview

The purpose of our Code of Practice is:
  • to show that GB Technologies Limited (“our”, “us”, and “we” refer to Acom) adopts responsible best-practice selling techniques when marketing our fixed line-telecommunications services1 (“services”);
  • to help our customers and potential customers understand our services and the behaviour to be expected from our representatives;
  • to show that we provide our customers with higher standards of protection than consumer law requires; and
  • to set out clearly what is good practice in the sales and marketing of our services, as reassurance to our customers.

The code applies to the sales and marketing of our services to domestic and small business customers2 (“you” and “your” refer to customers) and covers all aspects of the sales process. We aim to avoid mis-selling and misrepresentation and to ensure that you fully understand the services and the terms of the contracts we offer you.

 

All our sales and marketing staff and agents are briefed on this code and we routinely monitor compliance with it. If you feel that any representative of GB Technologies Limited has breached the terms of the code, please report your concerns to Cara Jane Barnes, GB Technologies Limited, Netherdale Industrial Estate, Galashiels, TD1 3EY, networks@gbtechnologies.co.uk who has responsibility for compliance with this code and for handling associated complaints.

 

Copies of this code are available free of charge in various formats on request, including via our website www.acom.com. The code has been prepared in line with guidelines published by Ofcom, the industry regulator, on 13 April 2005.

 

1"Fixed line telecommunications services” means narrowband calls and lines services provided to domestic and small business customers by means of indirect access, carrier-pre-selection, wholesale line rental or wholesale calls.

 

2“Domestic and small business customer” means a customer or potential customer for the services, who is an individual or an undertaking, for whom fewer than 10 individuals work (whether as employees or volunteers or otherwise).

 

Sales, marketing, advertising and promotional activity

We make customers aware of and promote our services by various methods. In all cases, we act responsibly and try to comply with relevant legislation.

 

We will respect your wishes if you have registered with any relevant preference service, including the Mailing Preference Service, the Telephone Preference Service, the Fax Preference Service and the E-mail Preference Service.

 

All our advertising and promotion activity keeps to the principles of the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion. In addition, we ensure that advertising and promotional literature is clear, unambiguous, accurate and fair, does not contain false or misleading information about price, value or service and does not denigrate other companies.

 

Recruitment and sales training

To ensure that our employees act responsibly at all times, we follow strict procedures in the selection and training of staff who have direct sales and marketing contact with customers. We also ensure that all our sub-contractors and agencies use equivalent selection and training procedures and remuneration (payment) systems.

 

When recruiting new sales staff, we take up references and carry out relevant background checks. We also consider whether applicants are suitable for this type of work, recognising that our sales people will be seen as the ‘public face’ of our company and the industry in general.

 

We train our sales and marketing employees to ensure they have a good understanding of our services and of industry practice generally and do not give our customers inaccurate or misleading advice.

 

We also ensure that our sales staff are familiar with the relevant aspects of consumer protection law, the content and interpretation of this code and the benefits it provides to customers.

 

Our remuneration systems for sales and marketing personnel are designed to discourage misleading or exploitative sales practices.

 

Customer contact

Our sales staff are given clear guidelines on contacting residential customers at home, particularly during the hours of darkness. They must not visit you before 8am or after 8pm, and must not telephone before 8am or after 9pm, unless you ask them to.

 

Representatives involved in face-to-face sales and marketing have identity cards or badges that clearly display our company name and the representative’s own identification number. The identity badge also displays the representative’s name and photograph and a date showing the validity of the card. Information on the card is clear and easy to read without close examination.

 

On making contact, our representative’s will immediately identify themselves, state our company name, the purpose of the call and how long it should take. If visiting or meeting in person, they will show you their identity card.

 

Our representative’s are trained to be courteous, to use appropriate language and to offer clear and straightforward explanations. They must offer only factual and accurate information about our services and contracts and must not misrepresent our services or those of other companies. They must check that if you enter into a contract you fully understand the terms and are sure that this is what you want to do.

 

Our representative’s will cease contact with anyone who indicates that the contact is inconvenient, unwelcome, inappropriate or too long. At your request, the discussion will be ended immediately and if making a doorstep call, the representative will leave your premises immediately.

 

Our representative’s will not abuse the trust of vulnerable customers, for example people who are elderly or who have special needs, or whose first language is not English.

When visiting sheltered housing, nursing homes or residential care facilities, our representative’s will make contact with the warden or other person in authority before approaching a customer.

 

We will not aim sales or marketing activity at people who are under the legal age for entering into contracts.

 

To ensure we maintain these standards, we keep the records of our sales and marketing activity for at least six months. Records include the date and the approximate time of the contact with you. To help us deal with any complaints or queries, all such records clearly identify the salesperson(s) who made the call or visit.

 

Entering into a Contract

We check that the person entering into a contract with us is authorised to sign a contract for services and be responsible for bills at the premises in question.

 

Our order forms and contract forms are designed to ensure that you understand that you are entering a contract, and each document states this immediately next to where you sign.

 

We will tell you that you have the right to change your mind during the switchover period and that there is no cost for cancellation during this period.

 

In all cases we will give you the following information:

  • confirmation of our company’s identity and full contact details;
  • a description of the service you have chosen, including how it works, the cost and payment terms;
  • arrangements for providing the service, including how we deal with the order and as accurately as possible, when it is likely to start;
  • your right to cancel and how to use it;
  • how long the charges will remain valid; and
  • the minimum period of contract, and minimum contract charges, if any.

Our representative’s have a full summary of our tariffs, which you can ask to see.

 

Where our representative meets you in person, they will give you the information in writing. When you sign an order form, or enter into a written contract, you will also get a copy of the order form or contract, as well as information about any after-sales services or guarantees and arrangements for ending the contract.

 

You will get this information at the same time as you sign, or within five working days, unless you received it in writing before signing the contract.

 

Orders placed with us by distance-selling methods (such as phone, fax or internet) comply with distance-selling regulations. As with order forms, our telephone scripts are designed to ensure that you understand that you are entering into a contract and will be sent the information detailed above.

 

In the case of internet orders, a well signposted and easy-to-see hyperlink to this information is prominently displayed and the information is readily available for downloading and printing.

 

Regardless of our method of selling, you may cancel orders and end contracts by telephone, in writing, by fax or by email to Network Team, GB Technologies Ltd, Netherdale Industrial Estate, Netherdale, Galashiels, TD1 3EY, Tel:01896 752607, Fax: 01896 661 308, Email: networks@gbtechnologies.co.uk.

 

Contract review

Our standard procedures minimise the risk of errors or mis-selling on our part when taking orders or making contracts during face-to-face or telephone selling.

 

We confirm orders by sending a notification of transfer letter to the customer in accordance with the industry-agreed process. The letter, which is clearly dated, gives details of the transfer, including the date of transfer, and information on any services and features which may be affected by the transfer. The letter also provides contact details for any questions.

 

We contact all customers entering into a new contract to confirm that you understand that you have entered into a contract, are happy to proceed with the contract and are content with the way in which we conducted the sales and marketing.

 

This check is generally incorporated into the order confirmation letter but is always completed not more than five working days after a contract is agreed. Where we contact you directly, this is done by a person not involved with our sales and marketing activities, who will tell you who they are.

 

The letter may be sent electronically if you have applied online and have confirmed online that you wish future correspondence to be sent electronically.

 

We will terminate the contract without charge or other penalty to you if we find that you did not understand the contract or it was not what you intended, or if it was finalised before the expiry of the switchover period and you wish to cancel.

 

We keep our contract procedures under review and take steps to prevent the recurrence of any problem identified through audit (see below).

 

Audit

We carry out regular audits of the systems, procedures and documents we use in sales and marketing.

 

Customer complaints procedure

Complaints about sales and marketing are dealt with under the procedures set out in our Consumer Code of Practice.

 

Our complaints procedure sets out how you may complain, and this includes complaints about ACOM’s sales and marketing. It specifies what to do next if you believe the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily.

 

You should first direct your complaint to ACOM. If we cannot resolve the complaint to your satisfaction, you may contact. You can also ask for advice from your local Trading Standards Department or Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Status of this code

By law, all companies marketing services to customers must issue a code of practice for sales and marketing.

 

Compliance with this code does not guarantee that it complies with any other legal requirement.

 

Non-compliance with this code does not affect the validity of any contract between the company and the consumer, unless the law states otherwise.

 

  • Ofcom Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA. Tel: 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333 email: contact@ofcom.org.uk Website: www.ofcom.org.uk
  • Direct Marketing Association DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS. Tel: 020 7291 3308 Website: www.dma.org.uk
  • Federation of Communication Services (FCS)Burnhill Business Centre, Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1AT. Tel: 020 8249 6363 email: fcs@fcs.org.uk Website: www.fcs.org.uk

If you wish to find details of your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards department you can search on the following websites

 

This code has been licensed by The Federation of Communication Services Limited 2005
Licence number 005250
Published May 2005. Correct at the time of printing. © The Federation of Communication Services Limitd 2005

GB Technologies Ltd

Code of Practice on Complaint Handling and Dispute Resolution

 

GB Technologies Ltd is an independent company that delivers communications services to domestic and business customers. While we may not provide all the component parts of our services ourselves, we do take responsibility for the services delivered to you. So we will liaise with our suppliers to ensure that any problems with their services are resolved promptly.

 

We make every effort to ensure that our customers are happy with the level of service, and the products and service they receive from us. However, despite our best efforts, things can go wrong. We take customer complaints very seriously and aim to resolve them quickly and efficiently.

 

If you have a complaint about any part of our service, please contact our Customer Service Team using one of the following:-
By phone: 01896 752607
By letter: Customer Service Team GB Technologies Ltd, Netherdale Industrial Estate, Netherdale, Galashiels. TD1 3EY.

 

If you telephone, our advisors will ask you about your complaint and seek to resolve the problem while you are on the line. During any discussions we will protect the privacy of the information that we hold on you. To do this we may have to ask questions to confirm that we are speaking to the right person.

 

If you make your complaint by email or in writing, we will acknowledge receipt, advise how and when we will next respond and provide you with a contact point for checking progress on the resolution of your complaint.

 

We will try to resolve your complaint quickly and efficiently, and to keep you informed at all times. We normally aim to resolve complaints within 10 working days but, depending on the nature of the complaint, this is not always possible. However, if you are not happy with progress in resolving your complaint you can ask the person to whom you are speaking to escalate the matter to their manager, and ultimately to the Managing Director. If we cannot resolve the problem, we will write to you to say so.

 

If it has been more than 8 weeks from the date you first contacted us to complain or you have received a letter from us saying that your complaint has reached “deadlock”, then you may ask for help from:

 

Ombudsman Services – Communications: 3300 Daresbury Park, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4HS T: 0330 440 1614 email: osenquiries@os-communications.org, Website: www.ombudsman-services.org

 

Ombudsman Services is an independent organisation which is approved by Ofcom to provide an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service. Ofcom-approved ADR services sort out disputes between communications providers and their consumer and small business customers. Their job is to investigate complaints fairly by listening to both sides of the story. They look at the facts given to them before recommending any action that may be needed to put things right.

 

Alternatively, if at any time you are not satisfied with the progress of your complaint you can ask us to agree an early referral to ADR (i.e. that we issue a deadlock letter). However, we may decline to do so if we do believe we will shortly resolve your complaint and are taking active steps to do so.

 

Useful Addresses

  • The Ombudsman Services 3300 Daresbury Park, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4HS, T: 0330 440 1614 email: osenquiries@os-communications.org Website: www.ombudsman-services.orgk
  • Ofcom Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA. Tel: 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333 email: contact@ofcom.org.uk Website: www.ofcom.org.uk
  • Phone-paid Services Authority40 Bank Street London, E14 5NR. Tel: 0800 500212 or 020 7940 7474 EMail: info@psauthority.org.uk Website: www.psauthority.org.uk
  • Telephone Preference Service DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS Tel: 0845 0700707 Website: www.tpsonline.org.uk
  • Federation of Communication Services (FCS)Provident House, Burrell Row, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1AT. Tel: 020 7186 5432 email: fcs@fcs.org.uk Website: www.fcs.org.uk

This code has been licensed by The Federation of Communication Services Limited 2017
Licence number C-001907