Plusnet fined £880,000 by Ofcom for overcharging ex-customers

Thursday, March 23rd 2017

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has slapped on BT-owned Plusnet, a fine of £880,000 for overcharging customers after they have cancelled their broadband and phone services. Following investigations, the telecoms watchdog found Plusnet had broken a fundamental billing rule, which was made to ensure customers get charged correctly for the services they receive.

An error in the billing system of the BT subsidiary led to continued billing of customers after they had cancelled their landlines and broadband services. Plusnet overcharged by over £500,000 their 1,025 ex-customers. So far, Plusnet was able to refund 356 customers, paying off a total of £212,140, that included 4% interest. The remaining of the overcharged amount collected, the the BT subsidiary company has donated to a dozen local charities, as they could not contact the rest of the former customers.

Consumer group director, Lindsey Fussell, of Ofcom, said when it comes to billing customers correctly, there can be no excuses and no margin for error. The fine is a reminder to telecoms that billing rules must be adhered to at all times, or they face the consequences, the director added. An Ofcom spokesman said Plusnet has taken steps to prevent any future billing errors of this kind. Because of Plusnet's willingness to go into a formal settlement, the fine was reduced by 20% and must be paid within 20 days to the regulator, which will be passed into the Treasury.

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