Calls from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to shut down shopping channel One TV have put the station’s future in doubt.
The ASA asked broadcasting regulator Ofcom to close One TV following an avalanche of complaints from consumers.
ASA director general Christopher Graham says: “One TV has repeatedly failed to fulfil customer orders and provide refunds.”
Ofcom has shut down a TV home shopping channel before. In December 2004, after a joint investigation with the ASA, it terminated the licence of digital TV channel Auctionworld for failing to address similar problems or pay a &£450,000 fine.
The ASA has already strongly reprimanded One TV after 65 complaints from consumers (MW May 11). At the time, One TV said problems resulted from the resignation of a number of senior executives, suppliers’ failure to fulfil orders correctly and poor call handling. It claimed it was addressing the issues.
However, the regulator has now received another 98 complaints from consumers and has been working closely with Essex Trading Standards, which has also continued to receive complaints.
A statement from the ASA said that since One TV has not addressed the problems and was still broadcasting tele-shopping output and taking money from customers, it has referred the channel to Ofcom as a matter of urgency and is seeking to have it closed down.
The ASA summoned One TV executives for a crisis meeting earlier this month. It concluded that the channel was not making sure it had adequate stock available and was unable to fulfil orders within 28 days.
It was also unable to provide refunds promptly and did not have satisfactory arrangements for handling customer enquiries.