Ofcom Price Accreditation Scheme
Ofcom (Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) is the communications regulator in the UK. It regulates the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles and postal services as well as the airwaves over which wireless devices operate. It makes sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and 'dishonest' practices whilst ensuring that competition can thrive.
Ofcom operates a price comparison accreditation scheme which puts sites through a rigorous independent audit. The audit checks whether the information provided to consumers is accessible, accurate, transparent, comprehensive and up-to-date.
DigitalCompare is very proud to have been awarded the Ofcom Price Accreditation Scheme logo.
The list below details the approval criteria that sites must meet to be eligible to take part in the accreditation scheme.
Accredited price comparison calculators must be accessible, accurate, transparent and comprehensive:
1. Services must be accessible by all consumers including disabled users.
2. Web-based services should offer consumers the option of getting advice offline.
3. PCWs must comply with existing relevant legislation, including the Data Protection Act and Equality Act and any other applicable legislation.
4. PCWs should have in place clearly explained, fair and timely processes for handling complaints.
5. PCWs must provide a free service or impose only a reasonable charge on consumers accessing their services.
6. Data used to calculate price comparisons should be updated no later than every two weeks. Web based calculators should indicate when they were last updated.
7. Data on prices and tariffs should reflect the availability of special offers and any upfront costs, for example installation and equipment.
8. PCWs should provide, on their result pages, information about any limits on data usage that apply to services identified in comparison searches
9. The price comparison service must display 'up to' broadband speeds on its results page.
10. The price comparison calculator must enable consumers to sort the results of any price calculation by price.
11. The PCW must make it clear to consumers how it makes money or funds its activity.
12. PCWs should alert consumers that their provider may increase the cost of their monthly deal and that they should be allowed to exit their contract without penalty if this happens.
13. The price comparison service must explain that traffic management policies may apply and provide links to communications providers' policies where available.
14. PCWs should explain that actual broadband speeds experienced may vary from the 'up to' speed provided by a package and provide a link to Ofcom's work on broadband speeds.
15. Services must provide tools, or links to tools, for consumers to test the speed of their line.
16. PCWs should provide links to Ofcom's comparative information on customer service and complaints handling, including regular information on the complaints received by Ofcom.
17. Price comparison information must be full and comprehensive. Data should include a comprehensive number of providers to reflect the level of choice available to consumers in the relevant market, including key players.
18. PCWs should take into account the consumers' location when presenting information on what services are available.