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BT Fined £2.8M Over Contract Failures For 1.1 Million Customers

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Ofcom has fined BT £2.8 million after its EE and Plusnet divisions failed to provide essential contract information to over a million customers before they signed up. 

The divisions made over 1.3 million sales without issuing the required contract summary and information documents since June 2022.

It affected at least 1.1 million customers.

This was breach of consumer protection rules, which came into effect in 2022.

The rules are designed to ensure that customers receive clear and comparable information about the services they are considering. 

Ofcom said the fine “reflects the seriousness of this breach.”

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BT assured that it would meet the June 2022 implementation deadline.

Customers wrongly charged must be reimbursed

However, Ofcom’s investigation revealed BT was aware as early as January 2022 that some of its sales would not comply with the new rules. 

In some cases, BT chose not to comply on time.

This was likely saving costs compared to other providers who allocated resources to meet the deadline.

Last summer, BT contacted affected customers.

It offered them them the option to request the missing information or cancel their contracts without penalty. 

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However, some customers had already left BT before the end of their contracts and were incorrectly charged exit fees.

Ofcom clarified that a contract is not legally binding if the necessary contract summary and information are not provided. 

Consequently, affected customers should not have been charged exit fees.

In addition to the £2.8 million fine, BT must identify and reimburse any customers who were wrongfully charged exit fees. 

The company must also contact current customers, offering them the right to cancel their contracts without penalty. 

BT must also amend its sales processes to ensure compliance with the consumer protection rules moving forward.

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