OneTel’s hard sell causes annoyance

Chiswick company apologises for distress caused by doorstep salesmen

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Residents of Bedford Park and its surrounding streets were the target of a pair of unrelenting door to door salesman last weekend. Their sales tactics were so aggressive, and in some cases it is alleged underhand, that a flood of complaints resulted.

Some householders claim that the men originally gave the impression they were from BT, and wanted “to ensure that local residents were getting the best discounts”. Other households were told correctly that the men were from Chiswick Business Park based telecoms company OneTel. After sending a formal complaint to OneTel, one resident received a prompt written apology with the assurance that the salesman had been disciplined.

However, unfortunately for OneTel, it wasn’t just the men’s authenticity that invited rebuke, it was also their persistence and failure to take no for an answer which angered many.

A female resident of Whellock Road complained to OneTel she had had to forcibly shut the door in the salesman’s face as he would not leave her doorstep. Another complained about the hard sell tactics and queried how the salesman could possibly justify selling ‘free telephone calls’ for £30!

When contacted OneTel for a response to these complaints, Charlotte Hammond replied, “We would like to apologise for any distress that residents in Chiswick have been caused. Direct selling is an important part of our marketing strategy and has played a crucial role in creating effective competition across the utilities and many other markets. However, we follow strict guidelines and sales practices which go beyond the Sales and Marketing Code of Practice, which we were instrumental to developing with the industry and Ofcom.”

She went on to state that disciplinary procedures are in place for any agent who fails to follow these guidelines and that any evidence of malpractice could lead to dismissal.

If any consumer feels that these guidelines have been broken by OneTel’s salesmen, they would appreciate full details of the incident so that they can conduct an investigation. You can make a complaint to OneTel on this form.

July 13, 2005