- The company had been facing troubles with its billing procedure since 2011.
- Almost 140,000 exiting subscribers wrongfully paid £2.4million as extra charges.
UK’s second-largest service provider O2 was penalised by the British telecom regulator Ofcom after overcharging customers for over eight years. The service provider has been asked to pay up £10.5 million as fine.
The company had been facing troubles with its billing procedure since 2011 but was unable to resolve it. Customers were shifting to other networks as many were getting bills twice in a month.
Commenting on the issue, Ofcom's enforcement director Gaucho Rasmussen said that though the billing glitches continued for a large period resulting in customers having to overpay, the company had addressed the issue by recompensating those affected and the regulator hoped that these issues would be avoided in future by O2. Also, the regulator reduced the fine from £15 million to £10.5 million, as it cooperated in the probe ordered into the case.
Investigations found that more than 250,000 subscribers had been overcharged £40.7 million altogether between 2011 and 2019. Most customers whose services the company was disconnecting had outstanding charges, hence they were not the one being overcharged, but the 140,000 exiting subscribers who ended up wrongfully paying £2.4 million in extra charges.
The company said that the issues have been sorted and all customers have not only been recompensed in full but have also been given an additional sum of 4 per cent in damages. For all those whom it failed to reach out to, has paid the overcharged amount to charity.
O2 spokesperson said that the company regretted the issue with billing, but it has resolved the problem and had also notified the watchdog on their own.