The Mobile phone group Giffgaff has been fined £1.4m by regulator Ofcom for “unacceptable” billing mistakes that saw 2.6 million customers overcharged over an 8-year period.
Ofcom said Giffgaff, owned by O2’s parent Telefonica, overcharged people up to a total of almost £2.9m.
“Getting bills right is a basic duty for every phone company,” said Gaucho Rasmussen of Ofcom. “But Giffgaff made unacceptable mistakes, leaving millions of customers out of pocket.”
He added: “This fine should serve as a warning to all communications providers: if they get bills wrong, we’ll step in to protect customers.”
The problem occurred because customers who bought a Giffgaff “goodybag” bundle – comprising voice and text minutes as well as data allowances – using their prepaid credit, were overcharged.
Ofcom said there was a delay in Giffgaff applying the bundle purchase to customers’ accounts. This meant that any voice calls made, or data used, came out of their pre-paid credit.
The regulator said the services should have been free immediately from the point the bundle was purchased,
and customers had effectively been charged twice.
“Ofcom rules require telecoms providers to bill customers accurately for the services they use,” the regulator said.
For any of our customers that are affected. Ofcom said that Giffgaff – which uses O2’s network to provide mobile services to its customers – had already refunded about £2.1m to affected customers.
Customers who consider they are still due a refund can contact the company.
Evoke Telecom’s ‘Call to Action’
At Evoke, getting our bills right first time is of paramount importance to our brand and reputation. As standard, we provide a clear bill every month to our customers with an accompanying report to show an itemised breakdown of all call charges and services. As per Ofcom’s response to the Giff Gaff debacle – A simple and accurate bill is absolutely a basic duty for every telecoms company.
In our 6-year history, the Evoke billing team can boast that they have never had a single billing mistake and we receive excellent feedback from our customers with regards to billing and report format.
If you are struggling to make head or tail of your current bill and would like to talk to an expert, then why not contact our helpful team by dialling 01509 278278 or if you prefer, you can email the team at [email protected]