Following news that landline customers are filing a £600m compensation claim against them for alleged overcharging, BT’s share prices declined, on Monday.
Customers Could Be Entitled to Compensation
2.3 million BT landline customers could receive payments of up to £500 each if claims filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal by law firm Mishcon de Reya are granted. The claims are based on a ruling by telecoms operator Ofcom that landline users were “getting poor value for money in a market that is not serving them well enough.”
Led by Justin Le Patourel, the founder of Collective Action on Land Lines (Call), campaigners say that BT is yet to compensate customers who overpaid. Mr. Patourel 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.”
BT Strongly Denies Claims
BT has strongly disputed these claims, saying in a statement: “We strongly disagree with the claim being brought against us.”
“We take our responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.
‘For many years, we’ve offered discounted landline and broadband packages in what is a competitive market, and take pride in our work with the elderly and vulnerable groups, as well as our work on the customer fairness agenda.
“We continue to offer a variety of packages to support our customers through the pandemic.’
Meanwhile, a lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, Natasha Pearman, has expressed confidence that BT’s customers will be compensated, saying: ‘It will take time to gather evidence and bring it to trial, but we are very confident that eventually millions of BT’s most loyal customers—many of whom are older and potentially vulnerable—will receive a significant rebate.’