You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Plusnet fined £800,000+ for billing ex-customers

0
Written by: Paloma Kubiak
22/03/2017
Plusnet has been fined £880,000 by the telecoms watchdog for continuing to bill customers who had cancelled their packages.

An investigation by the telecoms regulator, Ofcom, found Plusnet had overcharged 1,025 customers more than £500,000 in total for landline or broadband services they had previously cancelled.

Once a customer cancels their home phone or broadband service, providers’ billing systems must recognise that the line is ‘ceased’ but an error in Plusnet’s billing system meant the cancelled lines were recognised as ‘live’.

Plusnet, a BT-owned company, continued to bill these customers during 26 May 2011 and 3 September 2015. It discovered the error during a routine audit and subsequently contacted Ofcom to alert it about the mistake.

Ofcom has today fined Plusnet a total of £880,000 and Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said this fine serves as a reminder that firms must adhere to billing rules: “There can be no margin for error, and no excuses, when it comes to billing customers correctly,” she said.

To date, following an initial letter in February 2016 and a follow-up letter sent in May 2016 in addition to phone calls to previous customers, Plusnet has refunded 356 customers a total of £212,140, which included interest at a rate of 4%.

The remaining funds from customers it could not reach have been donated to a dozen local charities but if any customers believe they may have been overcharged, they should call Plusnet on 0845 1400 082 where a member of the team will “check, and honour, any applicable refund”. Ofcom added that since 29 July 2016, no further customers have contacted Plusnet about a refund.

‘We are very sorry’

A Plusnet spokesperson said: “We are very sorry and would like to apologise to the 1,025 customers affected. We reported this ourselves to Ofcom, and made every effort to contact these customers to arrange a full refund before the investigation started. We would also like to reassure all customers this was an isolated historic issue and we have implemented a number of new robust measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
pension retirement
Five reasons SIPPs make sense

Self Invested Personal pensions (SIPPs as it is more commonly known) were first introduced in 1989 and have evolved into...

Close