BT fined £245,000 for 118 call overcharges

(Image credit: ee)

BT has been fined by Ofcom for overcharging EE customers who made calls to 118 directory services.

A price cap on 118 calls was introduced in April 2019 with the intention of protecting users who still rely on the service to find phone numbers.

These include the elderly and those without Internet access.

BT 118

However BT failed to implement the cap for EE subscribers immediately. This meant around 6,000 subscribers were overcharged to the tune of £42,000. BT was able to correct most bills meaning that around £10,000 was overpaid – all of which has now been refunded.

The regulator took a dim view on the issue however, stating that the cap was supposed to protect the most vulnerable in society. The £245,000 penalty reflects BT’s admission of its failings.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that this mistake caused to a very small number of our customers,” said a BT spokesperson, “Customers that were affected were overcharged by less than £5 on average and we quickly contacted and refunded every one of them. We have taken this very seriously and have reviewed and updated our procedures to ensure it does not happen again.’’

The money will go straight to the Treasury and must be paid to Ofcom within 20 working days

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.