Carrier pre-selection

BT’s Response to Oftel’s publication on 17th April 2003 entitled: "A draft direction issued by the Director General of Telecommunications Carrier pre-selection "save" and "cancel other" activity"

Download full response in PDF format.


  • BT believes that customer experience and choice should be the paramount considerations in designing processes that enable the transfer of accounts from one Service Provider (‘SP’) to another.

  • The problem of erroneous transfer and mis-selling is growing rapidly. The number of unfair trading complaints received by BT has been a greater percentage of total CPS orders in each of the first four months of 2003 with over 2,000 complaints a month now being made. This causes great personal distress to the customers concerned and is absolutely unacceptable, yet there are virtually no constraints on it in the telecommunications industry.

  • With new entrants, the growth in CPS uptake and the proposed enhancements to Wholesale Line Rental (‘WLR’) competition continues to grow and Oftel have a one-off opportunity to prevent damage being done to the reputation of the telecommunications industry.

  • A uniform industry wide process is required that addresses the issues raised by each type of product that can be transferred between SPs. This would not only be of benefit to customers but also, importantly, to each SPs customer facing staff who are being faced with increasingly complex situations.

  • Oftel’s narrow focus on BT’s use of ‘cancel other’ is flawed, forgoing an opportunity to address these industry wide issues. Customers should be able to contact either the gaining or losing party and the use of expanded forms of ‘cancel other’ should be extended to all SPs, including those in the growing number of SP to SP transfers.

  • BT believes that the legal basis of the approach being adopted by the Regulator is fundamentally flawed and is based on out of date facts, poorly argued and disproportionate.

  • BT is pleased that Oftel agree the ‘save’ call is a valuable contact for the customer and for other SPs as well as for BT. The call serves as a model for keeping customers informed putting the emphasis on all operators to act responsibly in their customer contacts and in their interactions with each other.

  • BT has sought to work with Oftel and industry representatives to negotiate a universally acceptable set of practices in this area and believes that a forward looking and consensual approach, one usually espoused by Oftel, should be pursued further.

BT welcomes comments on this submission which should be sent to:

Mike Jenkyns, pp C3004, BT Westside, London Road, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP3 9YF, by e-mail to, or by telephone to 01442 296711.