Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Broadband ISP Plusnet Fined £880,000 by Ofcom for Wrongful Billing

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 (9:35 am) - Score 791

Internet provider Plusnet has today been hit by a fine of £880,000 after the national UK telecoms regulator ruled that they had incorrectly billed 1,025 ex-customers for landline and broadband services, which occurred between 26th May 2011 and 3rd September 2015.

The related customers had all previously cancelled their service, yet Plusnet continued to bill them and as a result the group was overcharged by more than £500,000 in total. We should point out that Plusnet voluntarily submitted itself for investigation after first discovering the issue last year “whilst undertaking a routine asset reconciliation exercise of its customer base.” As part of that process the ISP identified that some customers had been charged despite having no active telephone or broadband service.

Apparently Plusnet has made repeated attempts to refund all affected ex-customers by letter and by phone. So far the ISP has refunded 356 customers a total of £212,140, which included interest at a rate of 4% for each customer. Unfortunately they’ve not been able to contact everybody (many people will have moved home etc.) and so have donated the remaining funds to a dozen local charities.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said:

“There can be no margin for error, and no excuses, when it comes to billing customers correctly.

This fine should serve as a reminder to telecoms companies that they must adhere to Ofcom’s billing rules at all times, or face the consequences.”

A Plusnet Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk in Feb 2017 (here):

“We reported it to Ofcom and contacted all affected customers so we could arrange a full refund, before the investigation had begun. A number of new robust measures have been implemented to prevent this from happening again.”

Ofcom has given Plusnet 20 working days to pay the fine, which will be passed on to HM Treasury. The penalty incorporates a 20% reduction to reflect the ISP’s willingness to enter into a formal settlement and take full responsibility for the breach of the regulator’s billing rule.

We note that the investigation had originally set out to include a wider period from 7th March 2008 onwards but Ofcom was forced to revise this after realising that they had only gained the necessary legal enforcement powers in May 2011 (i.e. the earlier period wasn’t covered).

Ofcom’s Investigation
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/../all-closed-cases/cw_01178

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Billy says:

    This fine should serve as a reminder to telecoms companies that they must charge their customers plenty so they can afford to pay Ofcom’s fines.

  2. Ian says:

    Feel it helpful, when mentioning Plusnet, to comment that they are 100% owned by BT plc. This comes on top of BT’s EE getting fined £2.7m in Jan17 and BT itself getting a whopping £530m fine, also in Jan17, for wrongdoings in Italy. Makes £880K seem small beer.

    1. Oggy says:

      BT didn’t get a £530m fine in Italy.

  3. syms says:

    Plusnet, we’ll rip you off

    ASA should ban their adverts, misleading, who’s proud of con men?

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: BIRTHDAY10
  • Shell Energy £21.99 (*30.99)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.00 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £60 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £24.00 (*27.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £25.00 (*27.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: BIRTHDAY10
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3554)
  2. BT (3021)
  3. Politics (1937)
  4. Building Digital UK (1925)
  5. FTTC (1887)
  6. Openreach (1835)
  7. Business (1690)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1478)
  9. Statistics (1408)
  10. FTTH (1365)
  11. 4G (1276)
  12. Fibre Optic (1172)
  13. Virgin Media (1167)
  14. Wireless Internet (1159)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1147)
  16. Vodafone (845)
  17. EE (834)
  18. 5G (770)
  19. TalkTalk (769)
  20. Sky Broadband (747)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact