BT and OFT comms teams clash over Mail story

BT's comms chief has att­acked the PR team at the Off­ice of Fair Trading (OFT) over an article published in the Daily Mail last week.

Morgan: 'I found it a nightmare'
Morgan: 'I found it a nightmare'


Group director of comms Peter Morgan said he had a ‘nightmare' getting hold of the OFT's comms director to discuss quotes it had given.

In Wednesday 16 January's MoneyMail news, the newspaper quoted a spokesman from the OFT who said that customers who were with BT before the company introduced a £4.50 quarterly fee, for those who do not pay by direct debit, would have a ‘strong case' against paying the charge.

After the article was published, Morgan contacted the Daily Mail to challenge the OFT's quotes.

Morgan spoke to the rep­orter and was convinced that the OFT had not been misquoted. He concluded that the fault was with the OFT's press team for misrepresenting the OFT's position.

Morgan said: ‘The OFT believes our customers should pay their bills, and do not have grounds for challenging our non-direct debit charge. The article in the Mail said otherwise.'

He added: ‘Any senior comms person should be available 24/7 but I found it a nightmare getting through to the OFT's director of comms.'

The Daily Mail has since agreed to print a clarification of the OFT's position to ens­ure BT's customers know the fee is not optional.

Morgan was speaking at a briefing this week to publicise results from a survey commissioned by the CIPR on The Impact of Conflict on Company Reputation.

British Airways, Royal Mail, the NHS, the Post Off­ice and McDonalds were identified as organisations failing to manage conflict effectively, while Virgin, Tesco and London Underground manage conflict well.

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