Code of Practice

Who We Are

At pinkconnect we offer voice, data, mobile and business communications services to businesses throughout the UK directly to end-users through our Sales Department and through selected agents.

We focus on customer’s real needs and use our industry expertise to go beyond existing solutions.

Our Customers

At pinkconnect we believe customer satisfaction is the most important part of our business and that is how we operate. Whether your business needs new services, to check on the progress of a specific service, requires new number ranges, or to revise your bill, we will do our best to meet your requirements to your satisfaction. We provide a one-to-one service.

At pinkconnect we value our customers and aim for the highest standards of account management and customer service. By investing in our people and in systems to support our customer care activity and by continually developing our services, we will deliver the best in customer care and stay ahead of our competitors.

This Code of Practice aims to give you, the consumer, a clear statement of how we conduct our business and to describe the relationship between you and us in all matters concerning your purchase of products and services from us.

Our Products

pinkconnect provides a wide range of communications services including:

Voice Services – Examples of these services include the resale of Wholesale Services direct and indirect phone services, number translation services, managed private branch exchanges (PBX) and digital lines (ISDN).

Data Services – Examples of these services include broadband services (ADSL and fixed wireless access) and dedicated and fully managed point-to-point connections (LAN Speed).

Mobile Services – Examples of these services include standard mobile services, messaging (SMS) mobile email solutions and mobile virtual private networks.

  • PCs/Laptops and Networks
  • IT Services
  • Security Solutions
  • Vehicle and Personnel Tracking
  • Hotel and Hospitality Systems
  • Commercial Gas and Electricity

For a full list of our business services, please see the rest of the site.

pinkconnect operates in a highly competitive industry, and pricing is based on many factors, including volume discounts and the specific services you require. We believe the competitive nature of the telecommunications industry will naturally result in competitive pricing to our customers, but we cannot make any guarantees about the price of our products or services except at the actual time of sale.

Ofcom consulted in 2004 on whether existing consumer protection measures were sufficient to deal with the problem of mis-selling in the fixed line telecoms industry and concluded that the measures in place were not sufficient and that mandatory guidelines should be introduced for ALL companies who engaged in such sales and marketing activity.

The Ofcom guidelines have the following key objectives:

  • To ensure that Communications Providers give their residential and small business customers standards of protection over and above those provided by law;
  • To ensure good practice and responsible selling in the marketing of fixed line services, and to help customers understand the service and behaviour to be expected;
  • To provide a clear framework within which reasonable providers should be working, providing reassurance to customers and consumer representatives as to what constitutes good practice in the sales and marketing of fixed line services.

Pink Connect and others understand mis-selling to refer to sales and marketing practices that are misleading, deceitful or oppressive. Most people agree that these practices are unacceptable, and the majority of them are illegal. The most extreme form of mis-selling is slamming. ‘Slamming’ occurs when another provider places an order to transfer your telephone calls service and/or your line to themselves without your knowledge or consent.

Pink Connect therefore takes mis-selling very seriously and is working with Ofcom and the rest of the industry to minimise it in the telecommunications sector.

Sales, marketing, advertising and promotion

At Pink Connect, we are committed to delivering extraordinary service, which includes our sales and marketing activities. This document sets out how we aim to achieve the highest standards possible.

It is essential that our customers understand, at the point of sale, the services offered and the contract they are entering into.

Pink Connect may communicate with customers in a wide variety of ways (e.g. by Direct Mail, Telemarketing, online advertising, electronic mail). Regardless of the way in which sales and marketing activities are conducted, Pink Connect will act responsibly and in compliance with the relevant Ofcom guidelines.

Customers’ legal rights and wishes will be respected where they have registered with any relevant preference service, including the Mailing Preference Service, the Telephone Preference Service, the Fax Preference Service and the Email Preference Service.

Pink Connect strives to ensure that our advertising and promotions comply with the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion, and all other applicable advertising codes. In addition, Pink Connect always endeavours to ensure that all advertising and promotional literature is clear, unambiguous, accurate and fair, containing no false or misleading information about price, value or service and, in particular, does not denigrate other Providers.

Recruitment and sales training

Pink Connect follow appropriate procedures for the selection of staff involved with direct contact with customers for the purposes of sales and marketing activity. These also apply to any sub-contractors (third party agencies) that we use.

Whilst operating within current employment legislation, our recruitment procedures pay attention to:

  • behaviour and appearance, recognising that the sales function may be seen as the ‘public face’ of the company;
  • security – references and relevant convictions for criminal offences are checked and taken into account;
  • evidence of lack of integrity in any previous selling employment.

Any professional/employee/supplier working with Pink Connect agrees to the following core values:

  1. To operate in a high level of integrity, keeping your word at all times
  2. That is someone who is customer, service, excellence oriented
  3. To honour the relationship with the customers at all times and keep your promises and never withholds communications
  4. To have your conduct and presentation professionally represent Pink Connect at all times
  5. Not to disclose company/clients information as they understand there is a confidentiality agreement that protects the data
  6. To have a positive attitude that will inspire others at all times

Pink Connect have taken reasonable steps to ensure that all sales staff are trained so they are aware that any advice given by them must not be misleading.

Topics covered to include:

  • The market place, competition in the supply of telecommunications in the UK.
  • The different telephone products and services provided by Pink Connect and how these differ from other competitive telecoms products and services. Our core benefits and differential values.
  • The process for ordering the telephone service.
  • Pink Connect pricing and its terms and conditions of service and, in particular, methods of payment.
  • Duration of contract and any early termination fees;
  • The nature and cost of any additional Pink Connect services, if required.
  • The process for cancelling the contract during the cooling-off period and at any time following commencement of the service;
  • The existence of this Code of Practice and the benefits that it provides

All sales are verified by a Sales Supervisor before being entered into the system and the customer is sent a Welcome Pack within 72hs of sale that explains the terms of the contract.

Our remuneration systems are documented, and do not encourage misleading or exploitative sales practices.

Customer contact

Pink Connect representatives involved in business face-to-face sales and marketing are issued with clear identification that clearly shows who they are and that they represent Pink Connect. They will also give a business card.

On telesales, all representatives will immediately identify themselves to customers as representatives of Pink Connect, and the purpose of the call.

All representatives will be courteous, use appropriate language and offer clear straightforward explanations. All information provided will be factual and accurate. Representatives will not misrepresent the services being offered nor those of other Providers. Representatives will also check that business customers entering into contracts understand, and intend, them.

Representatives will cease contact with any person who indicates that the contact is inconvenient, unwelcome, inappropriate or too long.

Representatives will not abuse the trust of vulnerable Customers e.g. those who are elderly or whose first language is not English, or who have special needs.

No direct sales representative shall visit a residence before 8.00am and after 8.00pm. No telesales telephone calls shall be made before 8.00am and after 9.00pm, unless requested by the customer.

Entering into a contract – information, order forms and contracts

All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that the customer representative entering into a contract is authorised to enter into the contract for the Services/bills at the premises.

Customer Service Agreements with Terms and Conditions forms are designed such that the contractual nature of the document is clear to the Customer and require a signature. If a Customer signs an order form, or enters into a written contract, the customer will be given a copy of the order form or contract, as well as the following details in writing either at the same time or within 5 working days, unless previously supplied in writing prior to contract:

Where a direct approach to the Customer takes place, the Customer will be given the information set out in this paragraph, in writing, in a clear and comprehensible manner

  • essential information including the identity of Pink Connect, its address, telephone, fax and email contact details, as appropriate;
  • a description of the telephone service sufficient to enable the customer to understand the option they have chosen, and how it works;
  • information about the major elements of the service, including the cost of any standing charges, the payment terms, line rental, key call types and details of “protected or special support” arrangements;
  • the arrangements for provision of the service, including the order process and, as accurately as possible, the likely date of provision;
  • the period for which the charges remain valid; and
  • the minimum period of contract.

Customers will be made aware of the existence of this Code, and provided with a copy on request, free of charge.

Orders placed by distance selling are posted to our Administration Department next day of being issued.

In the case of internet orders, a well sign-posted hyperlink to this information which is easily visible to the web site visitor will be prominently displayed with the information being capable of being easily downloaded and printed.

During the switchover period there is a ‘no cost’ cancellation for Customers where they change their mind. Customers will be made aware that they have the right to change their mind during the switchover period.

Customers are permitted to cancel orders and terminate contracts in writing, by fax or by appropriate email, i.e. where the customer has a domain name in their email address.

Where Customers have initiated contact by applying online, and have confirmed online that they wish all future correspondence to be sent electronically, the above confirmation will be sent by email.

In all cases, Customers will be contacted along similar timescales to the industry agreed process to confirm that the Customer understands that they have entered into an agreement.

If it is found that the contract was not understood or intended, or if the order matured before the expiry of the switchover period, and the Customer wishes to cancel, Pink Connect will terminate the contract without charge or other penalty to the Customer.

At the customers’ request, full written information about tariffs must be made available.

Consumer protection and other legal requirements

Pink Connect procedures comply with all applicable legislation, including the Ofcom “Guidelines for sales and marketing codes of practice for Fixed-line Telecoms Services”.

Audit

Pink Connect carry out regular audits of systems, procedures and documentation to ensure that we are compliant with all aspects of this Code.

Communication with Customers

Premium Rate Services – The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) regulates all Premium Rate Services (PRS).

All calls to Premium Rate Service numbers are charged at a higher rate than normal local, regional and national calls. If your complaint involves a dispute over charges for these calls, please contact our Customer Service Department (please see contact details above under Section 3).

If we believe the call charges to be correct it may still be possible to obtain compensation from the Service Provider responsible for the PRS service involved via ICSTIS. Although PRS Service Providers are under no obligation to provide compensation for any calls other than those made to PRS numbers which provide a “live”, non recorded service, they will sometimes provide compensation on a voluntary basis for calls made to recorded information PRS numbers.

Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is the most important part of our business. We describe here in some greater detail our approach to our customers and the kind of customer services we offer. If you have any questions or need any further information, you are welcome to contact our Customer Service Department.

Our website answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) and will also answer most of your questions about our products and services.

Cancellation of Service

You are usually able to terminate any of our services by giving one (1) month’s notice. Please note, however, that our services are subject to a minimum contract period as specified in your contract, usually between 12 and 60 months calculated from the date when your service commenced.

Faults and Repairs

We aim to fix the fault and restore full service within a standard response time of 8 working hours from when you notify us of a fault on our service. This is a target time which means that we do not offer any compensation if we fail to meet this target unless we have specifically agreed with you that such compensation shall be payable.

We also offer additional service level agreements, which are agreed separately with our customers. These service level agreements are tailor-made to correspond to individual customers’ needs. You can obtain additional information by contacting our Customer Service Department (please see contact details above under Section 3).

Price Tariffs

Our up-to-date standard price tariffs, including details of standard discounts and special and targeted tariff schemes are available from one of our account managers.

Billing and Payment

We invoice our customers on a monthly basis. This may vary depending on the service concerned. For more detailed information, please contact our Customer Service Department (please see contact details above under Section 3).

We accept the following methods of payment: Direct Debit, BACS and Cheques, although for some services or tariffs, we may require direct debit and/or other security.

We are able to provide itemised bills to customers who request this, and also special digital format bills upon request.

Disconnection Policy

We want to help our customers to manage and pay their bills from us. Our measures in this area include:

  • promoting good customer service
  • encouraging prompt and full payment of bills
  • minimising debt and disconnections due to non-payment of bills
  • strengthening our customers’ awareness of our company procedures in this area.

It is our intention to help to the best of our ability customers with payment difficulties as well as to explain the actions we will have to take if our bills are not paid in full and on time.

Quality of Service

pinkconnect only resells products from high performance networks and Wholesale, measuring performance by communications network providers against a number of comparable performance indicators.

Customer Rights and Obligations

Number Portability – We may be able to port your number to and from other operators subject to technical availability. We may charge you for porting a number.

Data Protection

pinkconnect and its affiliated companies may use your personal information together with other information for providing telecommunications services, marketing, administration, and training. We may disclose your information to our affiliated companies, service providers and agents for these purposes. We may also keep your information for a reasonable period of time for marketing purposes in order to contact you about our services, but you can choose not to receive such marketing material at any time by notifying our Data Protection Officer in writing (see contact details below). Occasionally the marketing material concerns the provision of services by third parties. pinkconnect also performs some processing of personal data required for commercial purposes (for instance, creditworthiness checks).

If you want to write to our Data Protection Officer, please use the following address:

Data Protection Officer
pinkconnect Ltd
Connect House
Mill Street
Shipston on Stour
Warwickshire
CV36 4AN

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions describe the general legal and contractual obligations between our customers and us. The details of the terms and conditions will vary depending on the kind of service we offer. The terms and conditions for all our standard retail services can be found on this website or by contacting your account manager.

Services for Disabled Customers

pinkconnect provide access free of charge to BT Retail’s ‘195 Directory Service for Blind or Disabled Customers’. Calls are connected onwards as required. BT Retail’s Text Direct Service is also available to all customers with speech and hearing difficulties and once again is free of charge. This service has short access codes to the Emergency Services, Operator Assistance and provides call progress announcements.

Details of these services can be found on the BT Retail ‘Age and Disability’ website at www.bt.com/aged_disabled/index.jsp.

pinkconnect will assess all requests for information and make special arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Please contact our Customer Service Department for assistance and further information (please see contact details above under Section 3).

Phonebooks

We are happy to provide you with a phonebook if you want to receive one. There is a charge for this service. Please contact our Customer Service Department (please see contact details above under Section 3) to request a phonebook.

If you want to have your details removed from the phonebook (“ex-directory”), please contact our Customer Service Department.

Call Barring

If you want to have a particular number barred so that it cannot be dialled from your phone, please contact our Customer Service Department (please see contact details above under Section 3).

Calling-Line and Called-Line Identity

Your phone number is by default not displayed to the person whom you are calling. However, you can alter this by requesting that your phone number should be displayed to the person whom you are calling on a call-by-call basis or for all calls.

You can request that the phone number of the person who is calling you should not be displayed on your phone. You can also request that your phone number should not be displayed on the phone of the person who is calling you.

We do not charge for withholding a phone number in any of the above ways.

However, even if you request withholding of a phone number, we are legally obliged to pass it on in certain circumstances e.g. to the emergency services in case of an emergency.

To request any of the above facilities, please contact our Customer Service Department (please see contact details above under Section 3).

Customer complaints procedure

Pink Connect has internal procedures for handling Customer complaints which include those relating to their sales and marketing activities. Customers will be made aware of the existence of these procedures.

Pink Connect liaises with Ofcom and the relevant consumer groups to monitor the number and nature of complaints under its code.

In addition, customers may use the Pink Connect dispute resolution arrangements with the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman (‘Otelo’).

If you would like to report a fault or make a complaint about our service, please call our Customer Care line on 0345 450 9393 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

you would prefer to write to us instead, please address your letter to:

Head of Customer Service and Billing
pinkconnect Ltd
Connect House
Mill Street
Shipston on Stour
Warwickshire
CV36 4AN

If you should wish to cancel a line or service, you should do so only in writing to the above address giving at least 30 days notice. Where the service is subject to a fixed term contract, early cancellation charges will apply.

How we deal with your complaint

When you contact us, we will normally ask you to give us the following information in order to deal with your complaint as efficiently as possible:

  • Company name and account number
  • Name, contact phone number and postal address
  • Nature of the complaint

When we have registered your complaint we will give you a call to acknowledge receipt or write to you.

We will make every effort to resolve your complaint when you first contact us. However this is not always possible and we may have to investigate your complaint further.

Whatever your complaint, we will give you our initial response to it no longer than 5 working days from when you notified us. If you are not happy about the way in which your complaint has been handled, you can send a letter to our Managing Director, who will look at it directly, at the address above.

Other Organisations

The Ombudsman Services

Wilderspool Park
Greenall’s Avenue
Warrington
WA4 6HL
Website: www.ombudsman-services.org/

Otelo resolves disputes between member operators and their residential and small business customers. pinkconnect is a member of Otelo.

Office of Communications (Ofcom) Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London
SE1 9HA
Phone: 020 7981 3000
Fax: 020 7981 3333
E-mail: contact@ofcom.org.uk
Website: www.ofcom.gov.uk

Ofcom is the main regulator for the UK telecommunications industry.

Distributing the code: creating awareness

The Code is available to Customers on request, free of charge, and in a reasonable range of formats.

The head office of the Citizens Advice (address: Myddleton House, 115-123 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9LZ) have been sent copies of the code and any subsequent update.

A copy of this code is available from our website at www.pinkconnect.com

This Code of Practice is to be approved by Ofcom and will be reviewed and updated as and when required but at least every 12 months.