So, I asked them on their support web page if they do ACR, as required by section 11(3) of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
Before anyone starts talking of just pressing the red button (or whatever you do on an iPhone), the regulations require that the "subscriber" has the option to reject such calls, and the subscriber is not the same as the "user" and may be nowhere near the phone. This basically means the telco have to offer ACR (Anonymous Call Rejection). Thankfully the ICO seem to agree. I pursued this back in 2003 and got nowhere, apart from ICO confirming that the mobile companies were in breach and refusing to "exercise their enforcement function" when requested to do so by myself.
Now we have ADR, so this seems a perfect chance to try ADR from the consumer side. I really hope GiffGaff are not using the same bunch I had the misfortune to deal with last. Mind you, if they do, having been so unbelievably biased towards the customer last time, I would hope they are not hypercritical enough to treat me differently.
What is interesting is that I am almost seeing the point in ADR now! I can't for A&A, but for GiffGaff, so far, they are a shambles.
- I asked if they do ACR.
- They said no.
- I asked for a deadlock letter as this seemed to be the end of the matter and a deadlock, so they said to email a complaints email address.
- I did, and they replied saying they would answer in 5 days
- They did not
- I checked the old ticket raised which said it is closed, cannot be updated and to raise a new ticket. They had marked it "solved" which is clearly not the case.
- I raise a new ticket, explaining old ticket was closed, and asking again for deadlock letter.
- After a day or so I get a reply saying this is covered by an old ticket and to reply to that old ticket, the one I cannot reply to now.
- I have asked again, now for the forth time, for a deadlock letter, and added a complaint about being given the run around.
We'll see if ADR is, as it seems, a simply way to blackmail any telco in to caving in on any point that may otherwise cost them up to £350.
It will also be interesting to see what happens if the arbitrator orders them to actually provide ACR. If they can, then why the hell did they not before, i.e. 10 years ago when a law required them to. The regs do not even say it has to be a free service.
If they cannot, then what then? Would ADR insist on compensation? And what happens when, next month, I point out that the law still says they have to do ACR and take them to ADR again? Or hundreds of other people take them to ADR?
I have no idea how this is going to pan out - it seems crazy that I can, as an individual, cause a telco this much hassle. We'll see how it goes.
Update: Just got this from GiffGaff (3rd Nov)
"The law you have quoted is indeed correct, however, this law also states the anonymous call rejection is only required where it is available. As you have been advised already we do not offer this service and therefore it cannot be provided."
Err, no, the law says "Where a facility enabling the presentation of calling line identification prior to the call being established is available". Which means where I get CLI at all, which I do.
They also say "Our ADR provider is Offcom who can be contacted anytime through their own web site."