Ofcom has fined EE for overcharging customers when they called its customer service number. 40,000 customers were charged £250,000 in total and the mobile network provider is accused of failing to refund them. It was only after Ofcom looked into the complaints that details of overcharging were discovered. EE’s customers were charged the US rate of £1.20p per minute instead of 19p per minute when they called the mobile network’s 150 service whilst roaming in Europe.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “EE didn’t take enough care to ensure that its customers were billed accurately. This ended up costing customers thousands of pounds, which is completely unacceptable.
“We monitor how phone companies bill their customers, and will not tolerate careless mistakes. Any company that breaks Ofcom’s rules should expect similar consequences.”
Ofcom also discovered that these customers were being billed up until January 11th 2016 despite the service charge being scrapped November 18th 2015. When it was discovered that EE had been unfairly charging its customers, the mobile company suggested giving the money it obtained to charity instead of directly reimbursing them.
Most of EE’s customers who were affected by the roaming charges have now been refunded, but 6,905 customers are still owed more than £60,000 and are yet to be identified.
"We accept these findings and apologise unreservedly to those customers affected by these technical billing issues between 2014 and 2015,” an EE spokesperson said.
"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.”