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8 BT Engineers Arrested for Fake UK Car Clamping Business

Monday, July 1st, 2013 (7:32 am) - Score 2,958

Police in West London have arrested eight of BTOpenreach’s telecoms engineers and another thirty have been suspended after bosses at BT were allegedly tipped off about a fake car clamping business that had netted the fraudsters around £200,000.

According to The Sun, vans belonging to BTOpenreach have to pay around £1 million worth of fines in London every year. This is because engineers often have little choice but to park in restricted areas while carrying out vital broadband and phone repairs.

Apparently the fraudsters found a way of manipulating this by creating fake claims that parking wardens had ticketed their vans when in fact they had not. On top of that the engineers were also found to be wrongly claiming overtime pay.

The City of London Police confirmed the arrests and noted that eight of the workers were now out on bail. BT has refused to comment but it’s believed that the incident came to light following an internal probe and tip-off. The suspension of 30 engineers probably won’t affect broadband maintenance and upgrades in West London too drastically but it certainly won’t help.

In other news.. anytime call over-charging

In unrelated news Ofcom are separately said to be probing BT after customers with their Anytime Calls service claimed that they were being over-charged by 1 pence for calls to mobile phones. Related customers should pay 21p for a short mobile call but some were paying 22p, which might not sound like much until you multiply that by several million customers and lots of related calls.

A spokesman for BT told The Guardian that this was due to the way it handled VAT and rounded-up call charges, “The way our system rounds up the cost of calls to full minutes and pennies can sometimes have the effect of adding a maximum of 1p to a call of any duration. Our tariff guide on bt.com explains clearly how we do this, but we are happy to review how we inform customers about this small financial anomaly as we are always keen to be open and transparent with our customers.”

Ofcom said that it doesn’t regulate related retail prices or how BT’s rounding policies are applied. But the regulator did confirm that it was engaging with BT over the concerns, although this is less of an investigation and more of an effort to improve the operators charging transparency

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Kyle says:

    Hmm, another case that will be dropped due to a ‘lack of evidence’. Can’t see anything materialising from this case at all.

    As per the overcharging… I think this spokesman needs to stop thinking the whole world is thick by referring to this as a ‘small financial anomaly’. As the article already pointed out, BT are well aware of the extra revenue created from pennies here and there!

  2. Avatar TheFacts says:

    So why not a separate news item?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The anytime calls bit wasn’t really our coverage (we’re more about broadband / internet) and it’s not a proper investigation, so not big enough for its own news. But it was still worth mentioning.

  3. Avatar Roberto says:

    From some of the engineers i have had to deal over the years including the lazy one that did my FTTC install (left both boxes on a carpetted floor chucked in the corner) i am not shocked at this news. As for rounding charges up BT have done that for years and not always correctly in some instances they should be rounding down not up.

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