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Ofcom Fines O2 UK GBP150,000 Over Inaccurate Information UPDATE

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 (9:51 am) - Score 2,784
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Mobile operator O2 (VMO2) has been fined £150k by the UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, after they were found to have provided “inaccurate and incomplete information” during an earlier investigation into the company’s billing issues (here), which separately resulted in the operator being fined £10.5m for overcharging customers.

Section 135 of the Communication Act 2003 requires providers to provide information, in a reasonable period of time, when responding to such a request from Ofcom. Failure to supply the requested information could potentially lead to a fine or other action, depending upon the context.

In this case, Ofcom’s prior investigating into a huge billing blunder by O2, which between 2011 and 2019 resulted in more than 140,000 of their customers being “overcharged,” is said by the regulator to have been hampered after the mobile operator “provided incorrect and incomplete responses” to their requests. This in turn contributed to their investigation “taking longer to complete than necessary.”

On this point the regulator is particularly scathing of O2 and they certainly don’t beat around the bush in expressing that.

Ofcom’s Statement

O2 has a history of contraventions in this area, and demonstrated a level of carelessness in responding to our information requests.

We take such failings seriously and have decided to fine O2 £150,000 for this breach of its regulatory obligations. The penalty includes a 25% reduction from the penalty we would otherwise have imposed, as a result of O2 accepting liability and entering into a settlement.

We have also told O2 to review its processes and systems for responding to our information requests.

The announcement, perhaps ironically, follows only a day after we reported that the operator was suffering from disruption to their billing platform (here). Sadly, O2 still hasn’t responded to our hails over this issue.

UPDATE 11:10am

A spokesperson for O2 told ISPreview.co.uk: “We responded in good faith to Ofcom’s information requests on this complex matter, which they have accepted. We will undertake a review of our internal governance to ensure we have suitable processes and systems in place to respond to any future information requests.”

The operator was also keen to point out that this is a complex case, which is understood to have required third-parties to provide data on the historical issue (Ofcom did acknowledge this).

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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. Julian Wilde says:

    O2 attempted to remove 12 month contract money from my bank account after previously accepting my cancellation of contract…their retail outlet staff are contradicted by head office managers!

  2. Ian aitken says:

    Scummy like BT.

    It’s just like they try to normalise it and it’s just business?

    I think these companies shouldn’t be allowed to operate if they violate the public’s trust.

  3. Anandarajan says:

    I had been overcharged as well.Theu said they can’t send bill.

  4. Matthew says:

    They bill me so much! My services constantly gets restricted and then they still bill me for no service and I have very low signal and struggle to call out and receive calls and data! And they do nothing

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