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- Kingston Communications Business Services unit gains BABT Meter & Billing Certification
- New pricing plans for businesses to three decimal places


Kingston Communications’ Business Services unit has joined an elite group of business telecoms providers achieving BABT (British Approvals Board for Telecommunications) Billing Accuracy Certification, an independent, professional verification of billing accuracy. This offers customers formal assurance that they are accurately billed on all inbound and outbound switched voice calls, reducing the time and resource spent on bill checking and dealing with errors or discrepancies.

“Gaining accreditation, with all of its accompanying processes, is part of a raft of voice initiatives designed to demonstrate our policy of transparency and true cost visibility,” said Gary Young, Managing Director, Kingston Communications’ Business Services.

“Companies don’t need to go with the cheapest provider to save money – they’re not cheaper at all if their bills aren’t accurate or headline rates hide the true charges imposed by a minimum call spend. Kingston’s straightforward approach is designed to offer assurance that what you see is what you get.”

Kingston already offers per second billing and no minimum call charge on many pricing plans. A substantial investment has been made in a state of the art tariff management system to ensure that pricing plans are presented clearly and concisely. From March 14, 2005, the company will also present pricing plans to customers to three decimal places.

BABT, one of only three bodies able to offer accreditation, has seventeen years experience of assessment for the Metering and Billing scheme, having been the only Approval Body to be involved in the scheme from its introduction. Its assessment of Kingston’s billing covered key internal processes; interdepartmental and outsourced supplier interfaces; effectiveness of the billing process; existing evidence of accuracy; and accuracy of published tariffs and avoiding overcharging.

Very strict criteria for accurate billing apply, with allowable errors of value under-charged or not charged: £1 in £2,000; and value overcharged: £1 in £50,000.
Because Kingston Communications has a turnover in excess of £40 million, it is a regulatory requirement under the Communications Act 2003 to have accreditation, enforced via Ofcom.

The Ofcom Metering and Billing Approval Scheme aims to ‘enhance end-user confidence in the accuracy of charges from Communications Providers, by the testing and certification of the systems and processes involved in creating those charges and generating bills and prepay debits.’

Only a handful of operators have already achieved accreditation including parts of BT, Cable and Wireless, Vodafone and O2.

Notes to Editors:
1. Scheme technical requirements are described in the Metering and Billing Direction (Oftel, 22nd July 2003). These replicate the previous Oftel Standard OTR003: 2001, which was developed from the earlier OTR003: 1993.

2. Kingston Communications’ East Yorkshire Division (consumer) already has accreditation.
About the Kingston Group
Kingston Communications is a leading provider of communications solutions, providing a wide range of voice, data, internet and contact centre services to businesses and public sector organisations throughout the UK.

Kingston is a converged communications company with expertise and experience in both telecommunications and enterprise networking, supported by its own 2200km broadband network. As such, it is ideally positioned to meet the infrastructure, equipment and connectivity requirements of modern organisations, for whom communications is a strategic consideration.

Kingston’s national capabilities have been built on its strong foundations within East Yorkshire, where the company has been providing leading edge services to residential and business customers for over 100 years and where it has been a pioneer in the use of ADSL technology.

In December 2004 Kingston acquired 100% of the shares of Omnetica Holdings Ltd, specialists in the provision of converged IP networks.

The Kingston Group also includes Eclipse Internet, an established and growing broadband ISP that delivers internet connectivity and services to businesses and consumers throughout the UK.

For further information, please contact:
Claire Thompson
Kingston Communications
T: 0118 944 0394
E: claire.thompson@kcom.com

Kay Stevenson
Kingston Communications
T: 01482 60 2400
E: Kay.Stevenson@kcom.com

Chris Baird, BABT Marketing Manager
Meter & Billing Office
T: 01489 558220
E: chris.baird@babt.com



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