Jan 18, 2021
BT faces £600m lawsuit over 'historic overcharging'
BT is facing a class action lawsuit over claims it failed to compensate elderly customers who were overcharged for landlines for eight years. In 2017, telecoms watchdog Ofcom found that BT had been overcharging 2.3 million landline customers since 2009. "For many years we've offered discounted landline and broadband packages in what is a competitive market with competing options available, and we take pride in our work with elderly and vulnerable groups, as well as our work on the Customer Fairness agenda." Since 2009, the wholesale costs of providing landlines to consumers have been falling by at least 25%. But in October 2017, Ofcom found that all major landline providers in the UK had increased the line rental charges by 28-41%. Ofcom strongly criticised market leader BT for raising prices, saying that customers were being given "Poor value" for money. "Earlier in 2017, Ofcom fined BT £42m because it was late providing high-speed Ethernet lines, and forced BT to make good the losses of firms like Vodafone and TalkTalk," he told the BBC. "Ofcom, which has a statutory duty to stop consumer abuses, could have done the same for these customers. Instead, it allowed BT to get away with a 37% price cut, at a time when the difference between its costs and what it charged customers had risen between 50-74%.".
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