EE Slapped With £2.7m Fine For Overcharging Customers [Updated]

By James O Malley on at

Mobile network EE has been given a telling off by the telecoms regular Ofcom - and landed with a fine of £2.7m for overcharging tens of thousands of customers.

The regulator says that the problem affects people who called the 150 customer services while roaming abroad - apparently the network treated calls as though they were calling the United States, and wrongly charged customers £1.20 per minute instead of the 19p/minute that it should have been. Ouch.

Apparently the ultimately affected 32,145 different customers - and resulted in overcharging them by £245,700 in total. A secondary problem with the number was also identified after EE made the 150 customer services number free within the EU, on the 18th November 2015: The problem was that it still continued to charge callers - effecting an additional 7,674 people until the error was presumably fixed on the 11th January 2016. This resulted in a similar overcharge of £2,203.33.

So why the enormous fine? One other bone of contention appears to be EE's response once these errors were discovered. The company claimed it was unable to identity each of the affected people individually, and wanted to donate a lump sum to charity instead - but Ofcom says this wasn't good enough, and is also telling the company to work harder to figure out who is owed a refund.

So now might be a good time to check over your old phone bills just in case.

Update: EE got in touch with the following statement:

"We accept these findings and apologise unreservedly to those customers affected by these technical billing issues between 2014 & 2015. We have put measures in place to prevent this from happening again, and have contacted the majority of customers to apologise and provide a full refund. For those customers that we could not identify, we donated the remaining excess fees to charitable causes in line with Ofcom’s guidelines."