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EE overcharged for calls made to its customer service number, says Ofcom

Monday, November 7th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

EE is thought to have overcharged some of its customers for calls made to its customer service number, 150.

Ofcom has today said there is “reasonable grounds” to believe EE overcharged customers who called the service while roaming in the EU.

The communications watchdog has been investigating EE since January 2016 after finding evidence that it may have charged some customers US roaming rates for calling 150 from with the EU.

The overcharging is alleged to have taken place between 1 July 2014 and 20 July 2015.

Ofcom has today said it believes EE did contravene a condition of the Communications Act 2003, specifically that it issued bills that did not represent the extent of the service that had been provided.

EE now has the chance to make its case to Ofcom before the regulator makes its final decision, and may be bracing itself for a hefty fine.

In July last year, Ofcom fined the provider £1m for breaking rules on customer complaint handling.

An investigation found that EE had failed to tell customers about their right to take complaints to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme.

EE had also failed to say in its Customer Complaints Code that, where relevant, customers could access its ADR scheme by requesting a ‘deadlock' letter.

A number of customers who had requested a deadlock letter during this time were not sent one, and in some cases EE told customers that these letters were not issued.

Vodafone fine

Last month, Vodafone was fined £4.6m after two Ofcom investigations uncovered mis-selling, inaccurate billing and poor complaints handling procedures.

One investigation found that 10,452 pay-as-you-go mobile customers lost out when Vodafone failed to credit their accounts after they paid to top up, breaching Ofcom billing rules.

The affected customers lost a total of £150,000 between December 2013 and April 2015 because of problems caused by a move to a new billing system.

A second investigation found that Vodafone had failed to comply with rules on handling customer complaints.

The company gave customer service staff “insufficient and ambiguous information” on when to treat a customer’s call as a complaint, according to Ofcom.

Vodafone also failed to ensure complaints were escalated quickly enough and that customers would receive written notification of their right to use an ADR scheme after eight weeks.

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