BT supports Ofcom’s publication of an annual quality of service report that empowers customers to make informed switching and purchasing decisions, and drives service quality improvements by communications providers.
We believe that the following principles must be followed in order to realise a report that fulfils its stated purpose and is fair to industry, and we have worked with Ofcom and industry to ensure these principles are met.
1. The report must be useful for consumers: To help consumers make informed and effective purchasing decisions the information Ofcom reports must be clear, accessible, accurate and relevant. The decision to include and exclude particular metrics on the basis of their usefulness to consumers in making purchasing decisions should be evidence-based, i.e. Ofcom should be certain in advance which quality of service metrics are of real value and use to customers. Industry can provide insight into the type of metrics customers most value. Selecting an appropriate number of metrics is also important. Behavioural economics has demonstrated that “choice overload” can reduce consumers’ ability to make effective decisions and Ofcom should avoid the temptation of presenting customers with the maximum amount of data
2. The metrics used in the report must be truly comparable across CPs: Consumer information on quality of service can only serve the interests of consumer empowerment and competition if it is reliable, accurate and truly comparable.
3. Consumers and CPs must be certain of the report’s accuracy: Ofcom must ensure that the information presented to consumers is accurate since inaccurate data could result in distorted consumer behaviour and impact negatively on competition.
4. Ofcom requests of CPs must be proportionate: Ofcom’s information requests must be proportionate to what they are intended to achieve and Ofcom should be mindful of making requests that require CPs to commit significant resources at short notice.