Broadband News

Gio Internet - Debt collection saga continues with OCM

Ten days ago, we reported that a number of former Gio Internet users have started to receive debt collection notices from a company called Outsourced Credit Management Ltd. (OCM) having only a few months ago gone through the same process with Wescot Credit Services who ceased acting on the Gio Internet debt due to a significant number of enquiries to the validity of the debts being chased. OCM have not responded to our e-mails for comment.

Collection letters from OCM on Gio Internet's behalf

Another user told us they received a letter from Murphx claiming a year's fees which have been unpaid to Gio. It seems that some Gio users have been migrated to the Murphx service and they have begun asking for money without any communication from Gio to the users. One user suggested that they would refuse to cancel the ADSL line without the user paying a month's subscription. Other users keep getting demands for amounts due when their ADSL line was no longer active. A clear lack of any management systems at Gio is evident and the problems keep being shifted from company to company confusing the users.

Wake up Ofcom!

One user contacted us to state that they had paid OCM, not because they acknowledged they owed Gio Internet any money, but because the amount was quite small and it would be time consuming and therefore expensive to keep fighting. This is an understandable position from a consumer's perspective but it is wholly unacceptable for such tactics to be used and the government and regulator Ofcom should be concerned with how to put a stop to them.

"To be honest, I do not normally give up with issues like this. [..] Unfortunately, I am so busy at the moment that I have not got time to devote to this, particularly for such a small sum of money. I have therefore paid the full [amount] to OCM. Basically, I cannot spend any more time or risk any future credit problems for this kind of sum."

Former Gio customer

Ofcom does have an open investigation for Gio's failure to meet General Condition 14 in making an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme available to its members. We note that Murphx Innovative Solutions Ltd. is also not a member of either the CISAS or OTELO Ofcom-approved ADR schemes. There is a danger that companies could pass customer bases around to avoid regulatory obligations.

Getting disconnected

If the debt collection wasn't the worst, some users who are fed up with the service they've received from Gio and any related companies are looking to move elsewhere but are finding it difficult to cancel their ADSL subscriptions or getting hold of a MAC code to migrate. This situation clearly works against the interests of end users and BT needs to have appropriate procedures in place to assist users in disconnecting their lines from any broadband services which may be attached to them so that they can take their business to another ISP.

"Where an end user wishes to change broadband service provider, a migration process exists. In the first instance, the end user should contact their existing Service Provider who will provide a Migrations Authority Code (MAC). This is used by the end user when ordering service from a new Service Provider and validates that the migration to a new Service Provider is genuine. No further action by the losing Service Provider is required regarding the cessation of the service with BT Wholesale."

BT Wholesale Spokesman

There should already be a technical work-around to achieve this by changing telephone number or account name, but this should not be necessary.

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Gio issue press release on the current problems
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