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By Nicolae Trofin

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Ofcom publishes guide on Powers of Attorney and third party bill management

Communications regulator Ofcom have published a guide for those assisting vulnerable clients with their telephone bills.

The regulator also say that in addition to Lasting Powers of Attorney, telecoms providers are also required to provide third party bill management, separate to lasting powers of attorney.

As well as LPAs, Ofcom’s guide which was published in conjunction with the Office for the Public Guardian, details other options and telecoms providers and customers can deal with such as deputies, enduring power of attorney, ordinary power of attorney and benefits appointee.

The guide say: “Ofcom requires all telecoms providers in the UK to offer third party bill management. This allows a customer to nominate a friend or relative to help manage their account. The third party can receive copies of bills and can pay the bills, but does not become liable for them.

“The customer should contact their telecoms provider to set this up.

“An LPA gives the attorney the same power to manage the account as the account holder.

“Third party bill management gives the nominee the ability to speak to the provider about the account, receive copies of bills and pay bills.”

The main difference between third party bill management and other powers is third party bill management doesn’t give the manager the option to close the account.

The guide continues: “Telecoms providers will need evidence of your authority to act for the account holder. This is likely to be an LPA form that has been completed, signed and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. They may also ask for proof of your name and address.

“Some telecoms providers will accept a photocopy of the registered LPA; others require a copy with the OPG stamp on every page or a copy signed on every page by the donor, a solicitor or a notary to confirm that it is a true copy of the original. The copy of the LPA should be returned to you on request.”

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This message was added on Tuesday 21st June 2016

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