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Ofcom has fined EE £2.7 million for overcharging

Posted by Digital World on 18/01/2017

Ofcom has fine EE £2.7 million for over charging tens of thousands of customers.

Ofcom has said the fine is a result of an investigation into the company, which found the company broke a fundamental billing rule on two separate occasions, they stated EE customers who called the firm’s customer services number while roaming within the EU were incorrectly charged, as if they were calling the United States.

The mistake saw customers charged £1.20 per minute, instead of 19p per minute. Over 30,000 customers were overcharged, totalling around £245,700. Ofcom said in a statement "although EE did not set out to make money from its billing mistake, EE had decided not to reimburse the majority of affected customers until Ofcom intervened.”

EE was intending to give the money to charity as it couldn’t identify those overcharged, which would have left customers out of pocket. Ofcom said that in addition, even though EE made it free to call or text the customer services number from within the EU from 18 November 2015, the group continued to bill more than 7,000 customers until January 2016.

As a result, these customers were overcharged £2,203.33.

EE has 20 working days to pay the £2.7 million fine. Ofcom said that the size of the fine: “incorporates a 10 per cent reduction to reflect EE’s agreement to enter into a formal settlement, which will save public money and resources. As part of this agreement, EE admits and takes full responsibility for the breaches.”

The majority of affected customers have been refunded, however EE could not identify 6,905 customers who total £60,000 in charges. EE has made a payment of £62,000 to a charity in lieu of payments owed to customers. However Ofcom is requiring EE to make further attempts to trace and refund every customer who was overcharged.

EE the biggest mobile network in the UK has said in a statement: “We accept these findings and apologise unreservedly to those customers affected by these technical billing issues between 2014 & 2015. We have put measures in place to prevent this from happening again, and have contacted the majority of customers to apologise and provide a full refund.”

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