2.3m BT landline customers could be due £500 in compensation after a legal claim says the company ripped off customers for years.
BT landline customers could be due £500 in compensation after a legal claim has alleged the company overcharged 2.3m customers over a three year period. If you had a BT landline between October 2015 and April 2018 you could be in line for compensation. Sign up to stay updated.
Telecoms giant accused of a overcharging
BT is facing a legal claim of around £600m fronted by Justin Le Patourel, founder of consumer group Collective Action on Landlines (CALL) and a telecoms consultant who worked for Ofcom for 13 years.
Le Patourel believes up to 2.3m elderly and vulnerable customer have been victims of anti competitive behaviour that has resulted in them paying over the odds. He said:
‘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.’
The telecoms giant has made it clear it intends to fight this claim. A spokesperson for BT said: ‘We strongly disagree with the speculative claim being brought against us. We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.’
£500 for BT landline customers
The claim alleges 2.3m BT landline customers could be in line for a £500 payout if they had a landline between October 2015 and April 2018 or if they had a landline and broadband separately, not part of a bundle, from October 2015 until today.
BT was taken to task for the issue of overcharging these standalone landline customers by the UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, in 2017. It found that BT had been overcharging millions of its residential landline customers since at least 2009 and said BT should reduce its charges for these customers. In April 2018, BT agreed to drop prices by £7 per month going forward. However, this legal case argues it did not compensate customers for the excessive prices they had already paid.
Who is eligible for compensation?
The Court has decided that Le Patourel can act on behalf of affected BT customers. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you’re automatically included in this claim as it’s being brought on an opt-out basis.
Anyone who was a residential BT landline customer between October 2015 and April 2018 in the UK and anyone who had a BT landline and had broadband (from BT or other providers) separately from October 2015 and today is included. This means that you do not actively have to opt in to the claim to be eligible for compensation.
Who is paying for this claim?
Affected customers will not pay costs or fees to participate. The claim is funded by Harbour, a litigation funding firm, even if the claim is lost. The funding covers the legal costs of the firm Mishcon de Reya, who were appointed by Le Patourel. Le Patourel is a telecoms expert and has spent much of his career working on issues faced by consumers within the telecoms industry, and clocked up thirteen years at Ofcom from 2003 to 2016.
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