Virgin Media and EE fined combined £13.3m for overcharging customers for leaving contracts
PUBLISHED: 16:16 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 16 November 2018
Virgin Media and EE have been fined a combined £13.3m by regulator Ofcom for overcharging nearly 500,000 phone and broadband customers who wanted to leave their contracts early.
Ofcom said both companies broke consumer protection rules by failing to make clear the charges customers would have to pay if they ended their contract early and levying “excessive” fees to leave.
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The watchdog’s investigation into early-exit charges at the groups found about 400,000 EE customers who ended their contracts early were over-billed, which saw customers end up overpaying up to £4.3m.
It added that almost 82,000 Virgin Media customers were overcharged a total of just under £2.8m.
As a result, Ofcom has fined BT owned EE £6.3 million and Liberty Global’s Virgin Media £7 million.
Both companies have since agreed to change their terms and reduce exit charges, Ofcom said.
But Virgin Media vowed to appeal against the decision and fine, which it said was “unjustified and disproportionate”.