O2 fined £10.5 million for overcharging customers

Over £40 million was inadvertently added to bills between 2011 and 2019

O2 has been fined £10.5 million by Ofcom for overcharging 250,000 customers due to a technical billing error.

An investigation by the regulator found that, between 2011 and 2019, O2’s systems miscalculated the final bills for pay-monthly mobile customers, resulting in many being billed twice for the same charges.

More than 250,000 customers were affected by the issue, with the telecoms firm overcharging a total of £40.7 million.

However, around 140,000 actually paid the extra charges, in a total of £2.4 million.

According to Ofcom, O2 had been aware of the problems with its billing processes since 2011, but continued to overcharge customers when attempts to resolve the issue were unsuccessful.

O2 said that it is “disappointed by this technical error” and offered an apology to the “customers impacted”.

“We identified the issue ourselves and notified our industry billing auditor. We have also taken proactive steps to refund all impacted customers for the extra charges they paid, plus an additional 4%,” it added.

The company also emphasised that “the vast majority of funds reported were not overpaid”.

“Only 6% [out of the £40.7 million in overcharges]  - £2.4m - relates to money that was overpaid by customers,” it said.

Related Resource

From customer experience to enterprise experience

Six leading steps to activate your CX North Star

How to improve customer experience - whitepaper from IBMDownload now

Commenting on the findings, Ofcom’s enforcement director Gaucho Rasmussen said that “mobile customers trust their provider to bill them correctly and fix any errors as quickly as possible”.

“But these billing issues continued for a number of years without sufficient action from O2, and thousands of customers were overcharged as a result. This a serious breach of our rules and this fine is a reminder that we will step in if we see companies failing to protect their customers. O2 has refunded the customers who were affected, and we are satisfied the company has taken action to prevent this happening again,” he added.

O2’s £10.5 million fine from Ofcom comes weeks after BT was accused of overcharging its elderly customers for eight years in a £600 million class-action lawsuit. According to the claim, the company only agreed to lower its landline prices by £7 per month following a 2017 review by Ofcom.

Featured Resources

B2B under quarantine

Key B2C e-commerce features B2B need to adopt to survive

Download now

The top three IT pains of the new reality and how to solve them

Driving more resiliency with unified operations and service management

Download now

The five essentials from your endpoint security partner

Empower your MSP business to operate efficiently

Download now

How fashion retailers are redesigning their digital future

Fashion retail guide

Download now

Most Popular

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience

14 Jul 2021
Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution
Security

Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution

28 Jul 2021