EE has been fined £2.7 million by Ofcom for overcharging tens of thousands of customers.
The telecoms regulator found that the mobile operator broke a ‘fundamental billing rule’ in two different ways.
In November 2015, calls or texts to the 150 number within the EU became free, yet EE continued to charge more than 7,600 customers until January 2016. They were overcharged by a total of £2,203.
And on a separate occasion, users who called the 150 customer service number while in the EU were charged the same price as if they were in the US – so £1.20 a minute, instead of 19p. That makes 32,145 customers who were overcharged a total of £245,000.
EE was accused by the watchdog of “carelessness or negligence”, and although most customers have been reimbursed, EE is still unable to identify at least 6,900 people who are collectively owed around £60,000.
Ofcom’s consumer group director Lindsey Fussell told the BBC: “We all rely on big companies to get the most basic things right, and that includes charging the right bills… we uncovered a catalogue of errors.”
EE has apologised unreservedly to customers. The fine will go to the Treasury, and EE has also donated around £62,000 owed to the customers it couldn’t trace to charity.
But Ofcom has also ordered the company to make further efforts to track down every single overcharged customer.