More than two million BT customers could receive compensation of up to £500 if the claim is successful at court
BT has come out in strong opposition to the £600m compensation bill it stands to face after a tribunal approved the class action compensation claim against the telco.
It relates to class action campaign levied against BT on behalf of over two million of its customers that the telco allegedly overcharged.
The case is being bought forward by telecoms consultant Justin Le Patourel, with impacted customers potentially owed up to £500.
BT was first found to be overcharging its landline customers back in 2017 by Ofcom following an investigation – as BT continued to increases prices despite the costs of providing landlines reducing since 2009.
At the time BT agreed with the regulator to reduce future bills of affected customers, but didn’t offer compensation.
However BT plans to consider its options, citing that Ofcom’s initial statement at the time ‘made no finding of excessive pricing or breach of competition law’.
A statement from BT read: “We strongly disagree with the speculative claim being brought against us and will consider all available options as we review the preliminary ruling on the procedural matter of certification.
“We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.
“We take pride in our work on the Customer Fairness agenda. For many years we’ve offered a discounted social tariff in what is a competitive market with competing options available, and, earlier this year, extended that to help a potential four million households on low incomes save on bills and stay connected to vital online services.”
The tribunal found that the following BT customers were impacted:
“Voice Only Customers”, who had a BT landline service between October 2015 and April 2018, but did not also receive a broadband service (from BT or any other provider).
“Split Purchase Customers”, who had a BT landline service alongside a broadband service (from BT or another provider) at any time since October 2015, but who did not ‘bundle’ these services together into a single, discounted package.
The next step in the case is a full trial after the Tribunal stated “[Mr Le Patourel’s] application for a CPO succeeds [..]. This Judgment is unanimous’.”
Commented on the tribunal’s decision La Patourel said: “We think that these customers could be entitled to a substantial repayment of up to £500 each.
“This decision is a great step in the right direction and we look forward to the full trial, where we will continue fighting for BTs loyal and mistreated customers.”