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SF1

Code of Practice - Approved by Ofcom

1. Consumer code of practice
This Code of practice describes our telecommunications services and products, our pricing and charging methods and how to contact us and other independent telecommunication organisations. It also describes how to make a complaint.

All of our services are subject to availability and may be modified from time to time, they are all available either via the web www.sf1.info, by telephone 0845 402 3685 or fax 0845 402 3686.

If you require this Code in an alternative format or if you have hearing or speech difficulties, please contact us on 0845 402 3685 or by email at: admin@servicef1rst.co.uk

2. What we offer you
To reduce the cost of all your home or business telephone calls we offer a fixed line telephony carrier pre-select service whereby all calls from your home telephone using your existing  telephone line are automatically directed onto the Service F1rst network. You keep your number and your existing line. No access codes are required when you select Service F1rst as your telephone service provider

We also offer line rental for your home/business telephone line, meaning you only receive one monthly bill for both your telephone calls and your line rental.

To find out more about our services, offers, prices and call rates, visit our website at www.sf1.info or just call 0845 402 3685

3. Contract terms
Fixed line – Domestic
All domestic contracts are for a minimum of 6 months, longer contracts are available.
All contracts require 30 days written notice of cancellation.
Fixed Line – Commercial
All commercial contracts are for a minimum of 12 months, longer contracts are available.
All contracts require 30 days written notice of cancellation

4. Our marketing
We make most of our sales through direct marketing, telesales and face to face selling on the doorstep or through promotions in public places

Our Customer Service team are knowledgeable about our products and services. They can advise you how best to use the product or service you've registered for.

5. Making you welcome
When you register with us, you'll receive a welcome pack that tells you what you need to know about our products and services, including:

  • your account number
  • the telephone number/s to be registered
  • our call rates
  • our terms and conditions of service

From time to time you may also receive information about:

  • updates to our terms and conditions
  • service changes
  • new products
  • offers
  • changes in call rates, connection charges and line rentals

Through bill inserts, mailings and updates on our website. You can also talk to one of our Customer Service team on 0845 402 3685

You can choose whether you want us to keep you up to date, when you apply and register with us. You can change your mind at any time. Just write to us or call our customer services team on 0845 402 3685

If you require any information please visit our website at www.sf1.info

6. Your phone number
Fixed line
You may choose how your phone number will be displayed when you make outgoing calls using Service F1rst. We are obliged to provide Calling Line Identification (CLI) services when routing your calls through our network. However,

• If you have chosen to prevent your phone number from being displayed when making a call, we will continue to provide this service to you.
• If you choose to prevent your number from being displayed on certain calls, we recommend that you ask Service F1rst  to withhold call line identity on your line
• We cannot guarantee that all calls from your fixed line will display your calling line identification when calling mobile or overseas numbers.

7. Malicious and nuisance calls
Malicious and nuisance calls are often distressing. Usually, you will be in no doubt that you have received a malicious or nuisance call. However, it is important to distinguish between the two types of problem phone calls. One can be a serious criminal offence, whilst the other, however annoying, is not.

Malicious Calls
May be a criminal offence under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. A malicious call can be identified by its content. If you receive a call containing obscene suggestions, personal threats, or abusive language, you have been subject to a malicious call. Remember be alert and take precautions.

Nuisance Calls
Can range from an excessive amount of wrong numbers to persistent unsolicited calls and some may be unlawful.

Recording telephone greetings:
Take care when recording greetings, as malicious callers can obtain information about you from them. Keep your message as general as possible and follow the manufacturers instructions.

Rejecting Anonymous calls:
This facility allows you to reject any calls that do not display the calling number. Service F1rst can install this feature and it can be switched on and off at any time by following simple instructions

If you are receiving these types of call, please contact Service F1rst who will be able to work with you to take action against these type of calls.

Your right to privacy

8. Privacy policy
Your privacy is important to us. We aim to provide services that not only meet your personal requirements but also protect your privacy. We explain how we do this in our privacy policy. For more information about our policy, visit www.sf1.info or call us on 0845 402 3685.

Your personal information
Your account details and personal information are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. You can access your personal information, as well as information on how we process it. All you have to do is fill in a 'subject access form' and pay a fee of £10 to cover administration costs. Once we have collected your personal information together, we'll send it to you as soon as possible (within 40 days from receiving your request).

Keeping information secure
To make sure we keep our customers' personal details secure, we have an identification procedure in place for all incoming and outgoing calls. As an account holder, you will need to confirm your password or three items of identification for us at the start of all phone calls we make or receive. We advise you to keep your password secure and confidential at all times. However, if you give your password to someone else, you agree that they can access your account if they correctly quote your password to us. Tell us immediately if you think that an unauthorised person has gained access to your password. No-one may get access to or reveal your personal information without your authorisation. We may record or listen to calls to train our staff and to make sure they are following this code of practice.

9. Reviewing of this Code
We will review and up date this code (where required) on an annual basis. In conducting a review we will take into account the comments and feedback received from our customers.

10. Billing and payment
You will receive your Service F1rst bill by email or if requested by post. All bills must be paid by the due date.

We will add monthly charges for your services to your bill for the month to come. Your bill will clearly describe the service, together with the charges that apply to you and any discount you may be entitled to.

We will charge for part months in proportion by multiplying the number of days in the month where your service has been active (that is, when you've been able to use it, even if you haven't used it).

The current balance due on your account will appear on your bill. (Payments you have made within 10 days of despatch of your bill may not be included) The payment due date will be clearly shown, so remember, pay your bill on time to avoid receiving unnecessary reminders, any late payment charges, or having your account suspended.

We will charge you for the phone usage on the line registered with us.

How to pay
You can pay your bill in the following ways:
• Direct Debit
• Credit card
• Debit Card (Note: Some card types are not accepted)
• Cheque

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, we charge you an extra fee for administration. This will be added to your bill.
All credit card payments will be subject to an admin charge.
Other charges
In the event of late payment for any reason, we may charge you interest on overdue amounts or an administration fee.

If you pay your bill by cheque, credit or debit card and your bank refuses to make the payment, we may charge you for the bank charges and extra administration costs.

If you pay by another currency other than pounds sterling, we may also charge you for the bank charges and extra administration costs.

Itemised bills
We offer 2 options for itemising your phone and Internet calls:
• No itemisation (you simply see the total calls and cost of calls made).
• Fully itemised (all calls will be shown).

Your itemised bill will also describe other important pieces of information that are relevant to each call you have made including:
• the time of the call
• the duration of the call
• the date of the call
• the called number (for phone calls only)
• the destination of the call (for phone calls only)
• the cost of the call.

It will also give the total number of national, international and mobile calls you've made, per service number.

11. Billing queries
We check bills to make sure we have charged you correctly. For billing queries please call our Customer Services team on 0845 402 3685 for an explanation of the charges or, if necessary, investigate the matter further.

If we agree that we have made a mistake, we will adjust your account accordingly. You can also e-mail us at admin@servicef1rst.co.uk or write to us at:
Service F1rst Ltd,
PO Box 1001,
Ipswich,
Suffolk,
IP9 2WJ.

Unexpectedly high bills can sometimes arise from using premium-rate services. We appreciate that this can be by accident or because you may not be aware of the cost. Calls made to live services or chat lines are charged at premium rates, and you should be told of the charge before you go ahead with the call. If any call is made without your permission or knowledge, you should contact our Customer Services team on 0845 402 3685 immediately. They'll make sure that it's investigated and assist in barring such calls where applicable.

Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) regulates the content and promotion of premium-rate services through an industry code of practice. For more information or to make a complaint about a premium-rate service, you should contact ICSTIS via their website at www.icstis.org.uk

Creditworthiness
When you register with us as a customer for our services you will have to agree that we can carry out credit and fraud checks against your personal details. We use other agencies to collect this information and we will pass your personal information to outside credit reference agencies, anti-fraud agencies and their customers. Details can be obtained from our Customer Service team.

In some cases, we may need proof of your identity (for example, if you've moved recently, we may not be able to find your credit history). We will return any documents to you as quickly as possible.

Prepayments
We ask some subscribers for a prepayment (for example, if you don't meet our credit terms or if you go over your credit limits). We work out the prepayment using the type of service you have asked for and the results of your individual credit score. We will use your prepayment to pay any charges to your account.

Credit limits
We may apply credit limits to your account for charges you run up in each billing period. We will base your credit limit on the results of your credit score and payment history. We inform you of your personal credit limit.

If you go over your credit limit, we may demand that you pay your outstanding balance immediately, or we may suspend the service.

If we suspend your service, you will still be responsible for all charges you incur, including those over your credit limit.

For details of your credit limit or if you feel your credit limit is not appropriate, please phone our Customer Services team on 0845 402 3685.

Where we notice unusual calling patterns made from your phone, we may contact you to make you aware of any change in pattern to protect your interests. We may also suspend your service to prevent the service being used until we investigate further.

If you suspect that someone is using your phone without your permission, please phone our Customer Service team on 0845 402 3685.

Others assisting you
If you wish, we will be pleased to talk to another person or any agency acting on your behalf as long as you first confirm that they have authority to act on your behalf. This is to make sure that we follow the Data Protection Act. We will discuss and agree the person or organisation's responsibilities with you and them, to make sure that everyone has a full understanding of the situation.

12. Having problems paying your bill?
Call our Customer Service team on 0845 402 3685.

We may be able to help you but it's important that problems are notified to us quickly so that your service is not affected and collection action can be avoided. If you are away for an extended period, please let us know so we can make arrangements for your account to be paid.

If you have still not paid your bill by the date it is due, we will contact you and arrange for you to make a payment. If you are not able to make a payment at the time, we will discuss the options available to you. If you are still unable or unwilling to pay your bill, we may restrict your service. As a result, you will not be able to make outgoing calls until you have paid the overdue balance on your account.

If another person or organisation is involved, we will tell everyone involved what we will do and what you and they must do.

Other agencies
There are many agencies that can provide help and advice if you're having difficulty paying your bill. You can find details in your local library and phone books. We have provided some useful contact details in Section 5 following.

Failure to pay your Service F1rst bill
If you don't pay your bill after we have tried to contact you, we'll write to you to tell you that we plan to disconnect your service. This will usually be within 7 days of our letter.

You can ask for a review of your  payment position, this will be completed and sent to you within 7 days of request informing you of our decision.

Where there is a third party or guarantor both will be given details of the impending disconnection and reminded of their separate responsibilities.

At this point, we may refer your account to a debt collection agency. This process may lead to you being registered with a national credit agency, which will affect your credit rating. We will add any extra costs involved in doing this to your outstanding account.

If we disconnect your service, we will pass your details to an outside agency that has the authority to recover unpaid bills on our behalf. All our outside agencies meet the standards approved by the relevant industry organisation. If you would like details of these outside agencies, phone our Customer Service team on 0845 402 3685. Outside agents are registered with the Office of Fair Trading and are regulated by the Credit Services Association. They are also members of FENCA (Federation of European Collection Agencies) by association to the CSA (Credit Services Association).

If you supply false information, we may disconnect your service without notice to you. We may also register your details with fraud prevention agencies. If you would like details of these agencies, phone our Customer Service team on 0845 402 3685.

You or a person on your behalf must use the service in line with your contract. Any improper, immoral or illegal use will result in immediate disconnection and possible court action.

If we receive complaints about how you use your phone or e-mails, or the Internet, we also have the right to disconnect your service.

If you feel that we have disconnected you by mistake or unfairly, you can appeal against this immediately by phoning a member of our collections team. We will fully investigate the circumstances and inform you of the outcome as quickly as possible.

Service reconnection
We may reconnect your service if you have paid your previous overdue balance in full. Before we reconnect your account, we may charge you a reconnection fee and a prepayment or security deposit.
However, we may choose not to reconnect an account disconnected for non-payment.
If we disconnect you by mistake, we will not charge you reconnection fees, security deposits or prepayments.

13. Cancellation of your service
You can cancel your fixed line service over the phone, by fax, or by mail to the following address:
Service F1rst Ltd,
PO Box 1001,
Ipswich,
Suffolk,
IP9 2WJ.

Phone: 0845 402 3685
Fax: 0845 402 3686

14. Faults
If you have any problems with these services, you can report them by calling 0845 402 3685 or by sending an email to admin@servicef1rst.co.uk

Within 2 working days of logging your problem, we will try to contact you to resolve it or to let you know what the situation is. If we cannot sort out the problem within two working days, we'll try to contact you every two working days to keep you informed.

15. We welcome your comments
We welcome customer feedback about our service. If you have a comment we encourage you to contact us by phone 0845 4023685, email, admin@servicef1rst.co.uk or by writing to us at the address below.
To make a complaint, call us on 0845 402 3685 to speak to our customer services team. Questions or complaints can usually be dealt with in this way. However, if you are not fully satisfied, you can ask to speak to a Supervisor for further assistance.

You can also send your complaints to:

Customer Service
Service F1rst Ltd,
PO Box 1001,
Ipswich,
Suffolk,
IP9 2WJ.

Still not happy?
If you've registered a complaint with us and you're not totally satisfied with our response, you can refer your complaint in writing to:
Customer Operations Manager
Service F1rst Ltd,
PO Box 1001,
Ipswich,
Suffolk,
IP9 2WJ.

16. Independent advice
You should always contact us first if you have any problems or concerns, We will always do our best to resolve any problems. Where we are unable to resolve the issue within twelve weeks of receiving the complaint or if we have sent you a letter stating that the complaint has reached ‘deadlock’ you can contact Ombudsman Services, who are an alternative dispute resolution service. Ombudsman Services investigate customers' complaints about telecommunication services fairly and it is a free service.

Service F1rst Ltd is a member of Ombudsman Services and must respond to Ombudsman Services enquiries and accept their decision on complaints.

Ombudsman Services:
3300 Daresbury Park
Daresbury
Warrington
WA4 4HS

Phone: 0330 440 1614 or 01925 430 049
Fax: 0330 440 1615 or 01925 430 059
Textphone: 0330 440 1600 or 01925 430 886

Email: enquiries@os-communications.org
Website: www.ombudsman-services.org

Ofcom
Ofcom Contact Centre
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
Phone: 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040
Fax: 0845 456 3333
Email: contact@ofcom.org.uk
Website: www.ofcom.org.uk

Citizens’ Advice Bureau
Please contact your local office. Visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Trading Standards
Please contact your local Trading Standards Office. Visit: www.tradingstandards.gov.uk

Age Concern England
Age Concern England has a network of local advice centres for older people.
Phone: 0800 00 9966

Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
The TPS will register your number so as to cut down on unwanted marketing calls.
DMA House
70 Margaret Street
London W1W 8SS
Phone: 0845 070 0707
E-mail: tps@dma.org.uk
Website: www.tpsonline.org.uk

Independent Committee for the Supervision of  Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS)
ICSTIS deals with complaints about premium rate services.
Fourth Floor
Clove Building
4 Maguire Street
London SE1 2NQ
Phone: 0800 500 212
Fax: 020 7940 7456
Website: www.icstis.org.uk

Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC)
The OIC assesses when someone has broken the Data Protection Act and will also give you advice if you are concerned about how your personal information is processed.
Wycliffe House
Water Lane, Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545745
E-mail: data@dataprotection.gov.uk
Website: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

If you’re having financial difficulties and would like to discuss or receive advice from an independent authority, you can contact the following organisations.

National Debtline
Tricorn House
51–53 Hagley Road 
Birmingham
B16 8TP
Freephone: 0808 808 4000
Website: www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Fourth Floor
Clove Building
4 Maguire Street
London SE1 2NQ
Phone: 0800 500 212
Fax: 020 7940 7456
Website: www.icstis.org.uk

Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC)
The OIC assesses when someone has broken the Data Protection Act and will also give you advice if you are concerned about how your personal information is processed.

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545745
E-mail: data@dataprotection.gov.uk
Website: www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk