Code of Practice
Last updated 18/09/2013
Nothing in this Code of Practice detracts from your statutory or common law rights, nor does anything it contains form part of any contract between Callstream and a customer. The Telecommunications services described in this Code are subject to availability and may be modified from time to time. This Code of Practice is published by Callstream Limited (referred to as Callstream in this document).
1. About Callstream
Callstream is a voice and data telecoms reseller which has been operating in the UK since 1999.
2. The Purpose of the Code
The purpose of this Code of Practice is to inform our customers of their relationship with us.
This code aims to provide:
Information on how to contact Callstream
Information on sales and marketing activities
Information on some of our main services
Information on billing and pricing issues
Information on how to make a complaint
Contact details for alternative complaint bodies
3. Contact Details
You can contact us on the following phone number:
0333 400 9990 – lines are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays
For ALL enquiries, you may contact us by e-mail at the following address: email@example.com
Or write to us at:
Ground Floor, 2665 Kings Court, The Crescent, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham, B37 7YE, United Kingdom
Contact details of a number of related organisations are given in section 7 and within the ‘further information’ section of this code.
Should your enquiry relate to Callstream’s Code of Practice, please contact the Company Secretary at the above address or email firstname.lastname@example.org
4. General Philosophy
Our philosophy is straightforward. We provide you with a clear, jargon-free proposition and a commitment to deliver quality of service plus simple, easily understood billing on a monthly basis. We strive to ensure that the only impact on your business will be improved communication. To help you make your decision, we will provide you with the highest quality pre-sales support backed up with an ongoing commitment to customer care.
5. Sales, Marketing, Advertising and Promotion
Callstream adheres to all applicable Codes of Practice, including advertising and consumer protection regulations. This includes the Mailing Preference Service, the Telephone Preference Service, the Fax Preference Service and the E-Mail Preference Service. Our advertising and promotions comply with the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion. We always aim to ensure that our advertising and promotional literature is clear, unambiguous, accurate and fair and that it does not contain any false or misleading information about price, value or service. We do not denigrate other providers of telecoms services.
Recruitment; Callstream follows strict procedures when we hire and train staff who will market and sell our services face-to-face (direct sales force or affinity sales) or by telephone (telemarketing)
Sales training; After recruitment, all our sales agents are trained to ensure they have a sufficient understanding of the relevant sections of this Code of Practice. They have also been tested to prove understanding and knowledge of this Code of Practice.
All our sales agents are selected, trained and developed to have a sufficient understanding of the following topics:
o How competition in telecommunications works in the UK;
o What telephone services Callstream provides and how they may differ from other competitive telecoms products
o How the customer orders telephone services in the UK;
o Callstream’s prices and other terms and conditions of service and, in particular, methods of payment, duration of contract and any termination fees;
o Nature, and cost, of any additional Callstream services;
o The process for cancelling the contract both during the cooling-off period and at any time following commencement of the service; and
o Callstream’s procedure for handling customer complaints.
Responsibility for complying with the code; Responsibility for code compliance by all Callstream representatives, including any 3rd party sales agency lies with Callstream. The CEO for Callstream is accountable for ensuring that Callstream and its agents observe the code, and is also responsible for handling of the complaints relevant to the code. Should you have an enquiry relating to Callstream’s Code of Practice, please contact the Company Secretary at the address shown in section 3.
Remuneration systems; Remuneration and commission schemes for Callstream are designed not to encourage misleading or exploitative sales practices.
Customer contact; Our representatives will be courteous, use appropriate language and offer clear and straightforward explanations. They will use only the material that Callstream has provided them to explain the service to the customers including how the service may include the provision of network services by other companies. Our representatives will never misrepresent the services of Callstream or any other company and will always provide factual and accurate information.
Our representatives will check that the customer understands that they are entering into a contract with Callstream. Our representatives will cease contact with any person who indicates that the contact is inconvenient, unwelcome, inappropriate or too long. If the customer requests it, the representative will end the discussion immediately and leave the premises immediately. The representative must confirm that the sale is being made to a customer who is a decision-maker for the business.
How the customer enters into a contract with Callstream; A new customer concludes a contract for Callstream services only through our online Echosign service. Current customers can amend and add certain new services to their account over the telephone or by email. Any customer wishing to cancel a service must do so in writing on company letterhead.
When we ask the customer to enter into a contract for Callstream services our representative will provide in writing the following information:
o Essential information including the name of Callstream, its address, telephone, fax and e-mail contact details;
o A description of our telephone service to enable the customer to understand the service the customer has chosen, and how it works;
o Information about the major elements of the service, including the costs of any standing charges, the payment terms, line rental, key call types and details of “protected or special support” arrangements;
o The arrangements for provision of the service, including the order process and, as accurately as possible, the likely date of provision. Where there may be significant delay in the likely date of provision, we will inform the Customer;
o The period for which the Callstream charges remain valid. We have designed our order forms and contracts to ensure the contractual nature of these documents is clear to the customer.
Callstream will make regular audits of our systems, procedures and documentation to deliver compliance with our code of practice.
6. Range of Services
o Inbound services
o Value-added services
o Mobile voice and data
o Phone Systems
o Business Broadband ADSL or SDSL
o Phone Calls
o Line rental
7. Customer Service
Our customer service representatives are able to help with all your queries including products, billing and tariffs. Our service centre is open to deal with your enquiries from Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm. If you have any service enquiries please call us on 0844 557 7800.
Alternatively, you may write to our customer service centre at: Ground Floor, 2665 Kings Court, The Crescent, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham, B37 7YE, United Kingdom or e-mail us at email@example.com
If you wish to cancel your service with Callstream you must write to us on company headed paper. Notice may be required as per terms of your contract.
If you have a fault please report this to our customer service representatives who will be able to help. Our customer service centre is open to deal with your enquiries from Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on 0844 557 7800.
If you have any products from BT the following BT contact points maybe useful.
BT residential customers call 0800 800 151
BT business customers call 0800 800 154
We reserve the right to charge for any abortive work or visit arising from faults over which we have no control. Should an engineer need to visit your premises we will agree this with you.
We will be pleased to provide you with our prices on request. To obtain pricing information please call us on 0844 557 7800.
Callstream invoice for most services every month. Calls are charged in arrears and line rental or ADSL are charged in advance.
Disconnection for non-payment
Prompt payment of bills helps us keep our costs down so that we can continue to offer a highly competitive service. Please call us as soon as possible if you think you may have difficulty in paying your bill. In the event that a bill is not paid we will make all reasonable attempts to resolve the matter with you. However, if we are unable to get a satisfactory explanation for the non-payment we may suspend or disconnect your service in accordance with our terms and conditions.
We take billing accuracy very seriously. If you do not understand or disagree with part of your bill, please call us on the number quoted on your bill. You are liable for the costs of any calls that you make over our network. If you query the charge for dialled calls, we will re-check the bill. If we find a mistake you will be credited accordingly.
If you are not satisfied with Callstream’s service
We are committed to providing you with the best value telecommunications service in the UK. We understand that faults can occur, and when they do, we want to correct them quickly. We provide a comprehensive complaint handling process to solve your problem as soon as possible.
When you call us, a customer service adviser will note the details of the problem and will agree a course of action with you. Due to the complex nature of some queries, these may take a little longer to resolve. If you are not happy with the response you receive you may ask for the matter to be referred to a supervisor for further investigation. We will endeavour to conclude all complaints within 8 weeks from the initial date of complaint.
In the rare event we are unable to resolve your problem we will write to you informing you of the position. This is sometimes called the ‘deadlock’ letter. When you receive this letter if your annual bill is less than £5000 or you employ less than 10 employees, you have the right to refer your case to the Ombudsman. The contact details can be found within the ‘Further Information’ section of this code. The Ombudsman will want to ensure that you have followed this process through before contacting them. If this is not evident the Ombudsman is likely to refer the matter back to Callstream for resolution. Callstream is happy to work with other independent bodies, such as PhonepayPlus, Citizens Advice Bureau, Consumer Advice Centres and Trading Standards Departments.
Callstream is a member of The Ombudsman Services: Communications and are approved by OFCOM, which provides a free, independent, service to help sort out complaints when customers and telecoms companies can’t agree. It is run by The Ombudsman Services. Their job is to investigate complaints fairly, listen to both sides of the story and look at the facts. If the Ombudsman decides your complaint was justified Callstream will honour this decision and put things right for you. To find out how the service works and what it covers, please visit their website, www.ombudsman-services.org. The scheme provides a straightforward alternative to legal action. If you receive the deadlock letter as described above, you must decide within 9 months from the date you first complained to Callstream if you wish to refer the issue to the Ombudsman. An application to the Ombudsman does not relieve you from any obligation you may have to pay any amounts not in dispute. The Ombudsman can provide you with further details and you will also find information on The Ombudsman’s Services website. Contact details are shown within the ‘Further Information’ section.
8. Your Rights and Obligations
Data protection – we may collect personal information about you from a number of sources. These may include: The customer agreement, i.e the agreement that the customer signs when taking a service from Callstream. This may include name, address, other contract details and banking details.
Callstream is registered under the Data Protection Act and takes all reasonable steps to ensure that there is no unauthorised access to your personal data. We may use the personal data that we have to promote Callstream’s products and services but these details will not be passed to any other organisations for marketing purposes. In some circumstances we may supply information to organisations such as the police where the law permits us to do this.
We may record phone conversations in order to provide training services or to provide evidence of a transaction. If you wish to know what personal information Callstream holds on you, you can obtain this by writing to us. Please write the following address.
Data Protection Manager, Ground Floor, 2665 Kings Court, The Crescent, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham, B37 7YE, United Kingdom
You may wish to stop unsolicited telemarketing calls from Callstream and other organisations. You may do this by calling the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The contact details for the TPS are given in the ‘Further Information’ section.
Terms and Conditions
Callstream provides terms and conditions which are available on request from our customer service advisers. Please call 0844 557 7800
Services for disabled and elderly customers
If you are older or may have a disability and wish to discuss any special telecommunications requirements you may have then please contact our customer service centre at the above address and we will try and accommodate your requirements where possible.
9. Communication with Customer
It is our policy to maintain contact with our customers on a regular basis. We may call you or write to you from time to time to inform you of any new services and to review your current telecommunications requirements. We aim to keep this Code of Practice up to date and you may obtain a copy from our customer service centre or via our Website, www.callstream.com
Callstream is committed to the prevention of pollution.
We maintain an environmental management system that is appropriate to the nature, scale and environmental impacts of our activities, products and services. This system ensures that wherever possible:
o All waste is recycled, and where this is not practicable due to either technical or cost constraints, any waste is disposed of in an appropriate manner;
o We use energy efficient processing equipment and tools;
o Company vehicles are selected and maintained correctly so as to minimise pollutant emissions;
o We schedule and combine activities in geographical areas to ensure that the effect of transportation of personnel and equipment on the environment is minimised;
o We recycle office stationery and use stationery manufactured from recycled materials wherever practicable;
o We regularly review the environmental impacts of the business, and constantly seek opportunities for continual improvement and prevention of pollution;
o Protection and support of vulnerable groups
o Callstream is predominately a supplier of telecommunications service to larger business customers. We understand that some of our customers may have special needs and so require particular attention. It is our policy to assist any customers who may have difficulty using telephony services whether they have a disability or are from other vulnerable groups.
We understand the annoyance and distress that can be caused by malicious calls and take this problem very seriously. If you are receiving malicious calls we would like to provide you with every assistance to try to resolve the problem. This may involve working with the police and other network operators where appropriate. You should be prepared to give evidence if the caller is traced and brought to court. We may also recommend that you change your phone number and ask for this to be ex-directory if you continue to receive such calls. To report any malicious calls to Callstream, please contact our customer service centre (details provided in section 3). If you have a BT line, then we would recommend that you call their Nuisance Call Advice line on 0800 661441.
11.Premium Rate Services
PhonepayPlus – the premium rate services regulator. PhonepayPlus is the industry-funded regulatory body for all premium rate charged telecommunications services. They regulate premium rate services in their entirety – their content, promotion and overall operation – through the PhonepayPlus code of practice. PhonepayPlus’ role is to prevent consumer harm. PhonepayPlus investigates complaints about the promotion and operation of services which involve the use of a telephone connection via a premium rate number. This includes services available on a variety of mediums such as voice (telephone), fax, Internet, mobile phone SMS and interactive TV. The potential content of these services is virtually endless. PhonepayPlus regulates any service/promotion that is operating on one of the following number ranges: numbers beginning with 090 or 091; directory enquiry (DQ) services operating on numbers beginning with 118; and reverse-billed SMS (you are charged for the receipt of messages) containing content operating on shortcodes. Shortcodes have 4 or 5 digits and start with either 8, 6 or 2. PhonepayPlus has the power to fine companies and bar access to services if their code of practice is breached. PhonepayPlus can also bar the individual(s) behind a company from running any other premium rate services under any company name on any telephone network for a defined period. PhonepayPlus can deal with lesser problems by issuing formal reprimands or ordering companies to come to us for prior approval. Their service is free to consumers and fully independent.
How to complain to PhonepayPlus
If you think a particular service falls within PhonepayPlus’s remit, you can submit a complaint to them. There are a variety of ways to submit your complaint but before you do, we recommend that you visit their online number checking facility for instant information about the number in question. After that, please use one of the following methods: if you have a hard copy of the promotion in question (i.e. a page from a magazine), please supply your complaint in writing with a copy of the promotion to: PhonepayPlus, FREEPOST WC5468, London, SE1 2BR by using their online complaint form by calling their free helpline on 0800 500 212 between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Information about our PRS tariffs
For up-to-date information about the tariffs for calling PRS number from Callstream’s network please contact customer services.
Rogue Internet or Trojan diallers
There is currently a scam that infects computers with a dial-up Internet connection. It changes the way your computer connects to the Internet and is difficult to detect.
The scam can occur when you are browsing a compliant and proper Internet services website often with premium rate content. Examples of websites that have available premium rate content to download to your computer include music, films and adult material. When you access one of these sites a message should appear asking you to install software in order to download material from the website at an explained addition cost. When you install this software, your normal dialler will be temporarily replaced to pay for the content that you have just requested with a new dialler configuration.
What is a Trojan?
A Trojan is a programme that infects your computer and allows a hacker to run hidden tasks without your knowledge or consent. The latest Trojan’s can re-configure your dial up connection and charge you at a Premium or International call rate when you access the Internet and click on a seemingly harmless pop up or link. The next time you dial up to connect to the Internet you will be charged at a Premium rate or International call rate. That’s the scam.
Disputes regarding PRS numbers on your phone bill
The Ombudsman Services (Communications) of which we are a member is able to investigate if you have a complaint that we cannot resolve regarding calls to PRS number appearing on your phone bill. Furthermore, PhonepayPlus may order a PRS service provider to pay you a refund in the case they have completed an investigation and where it imposes redress as a sanction. If it can be shown that your phone has been used without your permission to call certain types of premium rate service (i.e. live and recorded chat, and live tarot services), PhonepayPlus may also be able to help you obtain compensation from the PRS service provider. PhonepayPlus will also be able to help you identify the service provider who provides the service behind the PRS number on your phone bill. Please visit their website at www.phonepayplus.org.uk.
12.Number Translation Services
Our up-to-date charges for calls to number translation services (numbers starting with 05 or 08) are available from our customer service team on 0844 557 7800. Our stated charges for calls to number translation services will include variations by time of day, for example, whether the call is made during the day, evening or weekend. If you are a new customer who signs up for the Callstream service and require more information on charges please contact our customer services team.
o Office of Communications (Ofcom)
Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA
0300 123 3000
020 7981 3000
Freepost WC5468, London, SE1 2BR
0800 500 212
o Ombudsman Services
The Brew House, Wilderspool Park, Greenall’s Avenue, Warrington,
0330 440 1614
o Telephone Preference Service
If you do not wish to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls, register on line at www.tpsonline.org.uk or call 0845 070 0707
o Fax Preference Service
If you do not wish to receive unsolicited telemarketing faxes, register on line at www.fpsonline.org.uk or call 0845 070 0702