Ofcom have announced today that action taken after an investigation into incorrect billing by TalkTalk and Tiscali has resulted in over £2.5m in refunds and good-will payments being paid to consumers. The investigation was undertaken following over a thousand complaints last year about bills from the two companies which lead to Ofcom ruling that the companies were in breach of General Condition (GC) 11.1 which relates to billing of telecoms services.
Some 62,000 consumers were identified as being affected and have been compensated, an average of around £40 per person. Ofcom therefore says it is not in a position to levy a fine on the company under its current legal powers. It does however note that there have been continued complaints which are still being investigated. If Ofcom believes that the company has continued to breach GC11.1 further enforcement may be considered which could include a financial penalty.
Some changes are currently being consulted upon in relation to regulations regarding this which would allow Ofcom to issue a financial penalty even if he company took action to address the problem. This could act as a strong deterrent to other providers to let billing errors slide. Current rules allow fines of up to 10% of relevant turnover.
Affected consumers are encouraged to speak to TalkTalk on their hotline number, 0800 5428 073, if they have any concerns.