Customers of EE and Plusnet to receive refunds for exit fees

Customers of EE and Plusnet to receive refunds for exit fees

BT Faces Fines and Refund Obligations for Breaching Consumer Protection Rules

BT, one of the UK’s leading telecommunications providers, has been fined £2.8 million by telecoms watchdog Ofcom for failing to provide clear information to customers before they signed up for services from EE and Plusnet, which BT owns. The fine comes as a result of BT’s failure to comply with consumer protection rules that came into force in 2022.

At least 1.1 million mobile and broadband customers were affected by BT’s lack of transparency regarding the price and length of contracts, as well as fees for early contract termination. Ofcom stated that in some cases, BT “deliberately chose” not to comply with the rules.

In response to the fine, BT has apologized and committed to implementing the necessary remedial actions as required by Ofcom. A spokesperson for BT expressed regret for any inconvenience caused and announced that affected customers would be contacted proactively and offered refunds where applicable.

Affected customers who are still with BT have the option to walk away from their contract without being charged or request the missing information that should have been provided at the outset. For customers who have already left, BT has five months to refund any exit fees that were charged.

Ofcom revealed that BT was aware as early as January 2022 that it would not meet the June 2022 deadline for compliance with the rules. The regulator also noted that some sales channels within BT are still non-compliant, and the company must ensure that all methods of selling products are in line with the regulations within three months.

The original fine imposed on BT was reduced by 30% due to the company admitting liability and agreeing to settle the case with Ofcom. BT, which serves more than 30 million customers in the UK, acquired PlusNet in 2006 and EE in 2015.

Moving forward, BT must take swift and comprehensive action to rectify its breach of consumer protection rules and ensure that all customers receive clear and accurate information when signing up for services. Failure to do so could result in further penalties and damage to BT’s reputation in the telecommunications industry.