BT fined £2.8m over EE and Plusnet contract failures 


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The scale of the fine reflects the “seriousness of this breach”, said Ofcom 

BT, the parent company of EE and Plusnet, has been hit with a £2.8 million fine from Ofcom after failing to provide potential customers with clear contract information before signing up.  

Since June 17, 2022, UK telecom companies have been required to provide customers with detailed contract information before they commit to a new service. Such details include pricing, contract length, service speeds, and any early termination fees.  

According to Ofcom, an investigation into EE and Plusnet showed both to have fallen short of these requirements, making 1.3 million sales without supplying the correct information. In total, Ofcom said this affected 1.1 million customers, undermining efforts to help them shop around effectively. 

BT had previously assured Ofcom that it would meet the deadline, but internal documents have shown that BT knew as early as January 2022 that it could not comply with the regulations. In some instances, BT knowingly chose not to comply on time, which Ofcom says saved them implementation costs. 

BT have since reached out to the majority of affected customers to update them and to give customers the chance to cancel their contracts without penalties. However, some sales channels are still non-compliant, meaning some customers are still not receiving the correct contract information at the right time. 

In addition to the fine, Ofcom also require BT to: 

  1. Identify and refund any early exit fees within five months;  
  2. Contact the remaining affected customers who have not yet been informed and offer offering them the correct contract information with the option to cancel their contracts for free, within three months;
  3. And bring all its sales processes up to standard within three months.

“When we strengthened our rules to make it easier for consumers to compare deals, we gave providers a strict timeline by which to implement them,” said Ian Strawhorne, Ofcom’s Enforcement Director.  

“It’s unacceptable that BT couldn’t get its act together in time, and the company must now pay a penalty for its failings,” he continued. 

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