BT faces £600m class-action lawsuit for 'overcharging'

The telecoms giant is accused of failing to compensate customers who were overcharged for landlines between 2009 and 2017

BT is facing a £600 million class-action lawsuit for allegedly failing to compensate elderly customers who were overcharged for landlines between 2009 and 2017.

The 2.3 million affected BT customers are now being represented in a claim filed by law firm Mishcon de Reya. If successful, the lawsuit could result in BT having to pay out £500 to each affected customer.

BT had allegedly been overcharging its elderly customers for eight years, only agreeing to lower its landline prices by £7 per month following a 2017 review by Ofcom. According to the regulator, UK landline providers increased the costs of line rental by 28-41% despite wholesale costs falling by 25%. The company was strongly criticised for raising the prices and for providing customers who had "been with BT for decades" with "poor value" for money.

Collective Action on Landlines (CALL) founder Justin Le Patourel said that, despite Ofcom's action, the telecoms giant never reimbursed the affected customers.

“Ofcom made it very clear that BT had spent years overcharging landline customers but did not order it to repay the money it made from this. We think millions of BT’s most loyal landline customers could be entitled to compensation of up to £500 each, and the filing of this claim starts that process,” he said.

BT issued a statement on the matter, saying that “Ofcom’s final statement made no finding of excessive pricing or breach of competition law more generally”.

Related Resource

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

“We strongly disagree with the claim being brought against us,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We take our responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.

"We assure our customers, including the elderly and vulnerable, that we will not let this claim disrupt the relationship BT has with them particularly at this critical time, when our people have been working so hard to keep them connected with their loved ones.”

The spokesperson added that the BT “will continue to offer a variety of packages to support [its] customers through the pandemic” and that it will “defend itself vigorously” against the claim.

Featured Resources

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Recommended

FCC proposes emergency broadband subsidies
broadband

FCC proposes emergency broadband subsidies

23 Feb 2021
SpaceX wins $885.5m to connect rural America
broadband

SpaceX wins $885.5m to connect rural America

8 Dec 2020
BT: UK gov will miss gigabit broadband target by eight years
broadband

BT: UK gov will miss gigabit broadband target by eight years

28 Sep 2020
Dish chooses VMware Telco Cloud platform to deploy 5G in US
Infrastructure

Dish chooses VMware Telco Cloud platform to deploy 5G in US

31 Jul 2020

Most Popular

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets
content management system (CMS)

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets

24 Feb 2021
Microsoft Exchange targeted by China-linked hackers
zero-day exploit

Microsoft Exchange targeted by China-linked hackers

3 Mar 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021