Cable firms renew BT dirty tricks row

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Cable operators resumed their bitter attack on BT last night, accusing the telecoms giant of continuing a controversial dirty tricks campaign aimed at winning back customers, writes Mathew Horsman.

According to information gathered by the Cable Communications Association, seven fresh complaints of improper tele-marketing have been recieved, and these will be sent to Oftel, the regulator, today or tomorrow.

In addition, several cable operators, including Bell Cablemedia, have unearthed complaints that cable customers were given misinformation by BT tele-marketers, as part of the Win Back campaign.

Julie Chobrzynska, a former trainer at BT's Win Back operation in Bristol, said yesterday: "Staff did tell customers they would not be able to get a telephone directory service if they remained with cable."

Oftel cleared BT of any wrong-doing in a report published last month. However, the watchdog said last night it would look into the new allegations, as part of its investigation into claims by Which? magazine that Win Back staff have routinely misinformed cable customers over comparisons between cable and BT.

A BT spokeswoman said: "We are concerned by further allegations and will investigate."