Ofcom says mobile and fixed-line communications providers need to do more to publicise services for disabled customers. It's just published the results of mystery shopping research that looked at telephone-based and online help available from BT, Orange, O2, TalkTalk, T-Mobile, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone. Mystery shoppers called on behalf of 'relatives' who were blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, had a cognitive impairment or were in hospital long term.
37% of mystery shoppers were provided with information about at least one service available for disabled customers without further prompting. That's an increase from a similar survey in 2006, when a 29% response was noted. However, this figure only rose to 75% after prompting; a significant drop since Ofcom’s 2006 research when 91% of people were offered information about at least one service after being prompted.
Ofcom describes the results as "fairly poor across all the providers surveyed" and says it's discussed the findings of the mystery shopping with the relevant service providers. Further mystery shopping will be conducted in the future, with the threat of enforcement action and a fine if the providers fail to meet their obligations.
[Ofcom advice for disabled consumers]