O2 has been fined £10.5m by Ofcom for “failing to provide customers with accurate bills.”
For eight years, some customers who were leaving O2 were overcharged on their final bills, according to the regulator.
Ofcom opened an investigation into the potential billing errors in 2019, and found that 250,000 customers were billed for incorrect charges, amounting to nearly £41m.
Around 140,000 of these customers actually paid these extra charges, paying a total of £2.4m.
O2 has refunded the customers affected in full, plus an additional four percent. For the customers that O2 was not able to reach, the company committed to making a donation to charity for the equivalent amount of money that those customers were overcharged.
An O2 spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by this technical error and sincerely apologise to customers impacted.
“As Ofcom have stated today, the vast majority of funds reported were not overpaid. Only six percent - £2.4m - relates to money that was overpaid by customers.
“We identified the issue ourselves and notified our industry billing auditor. We have also taken proactive steps to refund all impacted customers.”
Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s enforcement director, said: “These billing issues continued for a number of years without sufficient action from O2, and thousands of customers were overcharged as a result. This is a serious breach of our rules and this fine is a reminder that we will step in if we see companies failing to protect their customers.”
Regulatory activity in the telecoms and utilities sectors was discussed at the U&T sessions from last year’s Credit Festival, and are now available to view on demand.