Metering and billing
The Ofcom Metering and Billing Systems Approval Scheme (the "Scheme") aims to enhance end-user confidence in the accuracy of charges from Communications Providers (CPs), by the testing and certification of the systems and processes involved in creating those charges and generating bills and prepay debits. CPs with a turnover of £ 40 million are required to enter the Scheme under the General Conditions of Entitlement and others have voluntarily chosen to obtain approval as a demonstration of best practice.
This area contains information about the Scheme, documentation, and advice for CPs and links to the Approval Bodies.
The Ofcom Metering and Billing Scheme is explained in the following consultation document.
The Scheme's technical requirements are described in the 2014 Metering and Biling Direction. This was published as Annex 2 to an Ofcom Statement.
General Condition 11.3 obliges CPs to enter the Ofcom Metering and Billing Systems Approval Scheme which requires CPs to have their metering and billing systems approved and audited by independent auditors approved by Ofcom.
Approval Bodies approve and audit a CPs metering and billing systems and monitor compliance with the requirements of the Ofcom Metering and Billing Direction. At present, there are three Approval Bodies, these are:
Becoming an Approval Body
To become an Approval Body, applicants must be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service to ensure that they meet the international standard EN 45011 to carry out the Metering and Billing Approval Process as defined in the Ofcom Direction.
To ensure equitable treatment of all Communication Providers within the Scheme and a universal interpretation of the Scheme's requirements, all of the current Approval Bodies belong to the Metering and Billing Approval Bodies' Forum (MABABF).
Review of the Direction 2012-14
To reflect changes in the communications market and experience of operating the Direction, Ofcom reviewed the Direction through consultations in 2013, February 2014 and May 2014. A statement setting out our conclusions from the review was published in July 2014.
Other helpful documents
There is also some helpful guidance on how to dispute a bill or avoid bill shock – see below:
Ofcom's consumer guide on how to dispute a bill can be found here.
Ofcom's consumer guide on how to avoid 'bill shock' when using your mobile phone can be found here.
General Condition 12 sets out the requirements placed on CPs for the provision of individual, itemised bills please which can be found in the General Conditions here.
Ofcom contacts for the Scheme are:
- Policy Issues: Stephen Green
Tel: 020 7981 3761, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org