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The BT-owned mobile phone provider EE has been fined by Ofcom for carelessness or negligence throughout billing errors. The telecoms regulator gave the fine of £2.7m following billing errors that affected 40,000 of its customers.
The fine resulted from EE failing to act on customer complaints and failing to reimburse customers affected by the billing errors until Ofcom intervened. Customers had been overcharged a total of £250,000, and Ofcom said, "the mobile network broke a fundamental billing rule twice.
Commenting further, 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 don't tolerate careless mistakes. Any company that breaks OFCOM's rules should expect similar consequences."
The error related to EE customers who called the customer services number while roaming in the EU were charged £1.50 per minute instead of 19p per minute. Customers were effectively charged as if they were calling from the United States.
A second error saw EE continue to charge customers for using the 150 services even after the service had been made free from November 18th, 2015.
An EE spokesman has 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." EE on Ofcom's orders has since attempted to trace and refund 7,000 customers still to be reimbursed for £62,000.