EE is £1 million worse off this morning as it has been fined by the telecoms regulator Ofcom for not letting customers know that they can complain about EE to an independent ombudsman.
That's right - it turns out that if you have a problem with your phone network, you can appeal to one of two ombudsman services, who can then figure out which side is wrong, and give them a telling off.
The fine has been levied at EE because between 2011 and 2014 it didn't adequately flag up this information. For example, it wasn't included on the paperwork that comes with your paper bill. Similarly, Ofcom found that some customers didn't receive their requested their "deadlock" letters, which is the first step of taking a case of the ombudsman.
The BBC quotes Ofcom's Claudio Pollack as explaining:
"Ofcom imposes strict rules on how providers must handle complaints and treats any breach of these rules very seriously. The fine imposed against EE takes account of the serious failings that occurred in the company's complaints handling, and the extended period over which these took place."
But hey, at least EE doesn't seem to have rolled out its plan to charge customers to jump the customer services queue any further.
In reponse to the fine, EE has issued the following statement:
This fine relates to our historic performance regarding complaints handling, collected from 2011 to April 2014. While this is in no way excuses it, it is important to note that we identified issues in our complaints handling and began our programme to tackle these problems head on in 2013, before Ofcom started their investigation. We have made considerable improvements since then.
Ofcom's current figures highlight that complaints into Ofcom about EE have fallen by 50 per cent in the past year alone and, while even 1 complaint is 1 too many, we're working tirelessly not only to improve the handling of complaints but also to identify root causes, and fix problems customers have with us, to ultimately achieve our goal of offering the best service in the market.