UK telecommunications provider BT Group is facing a lawsuit over claims of overcharging customers, which could cost the company almost $815 million.
Justin Le Patourel, founder of Collective Action on Land Lines, known as CALL, said in a statement on Sunday that the group has filed a claim with the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The suit was reported earlier by the Sunday Times.
In 2017, Britain’s telecommunications watchdog Ofcom found BT had been overcharging landline customers since 2009. As a result, the company was forced to reduce monthly costs by about 7 pounds each. However, its customers weren’t compensated for the previous eight years of overcharging, Le Patourel said in the statement. The affected consumers were more likely to be old, on low incomes and vulnerable, CALL said, citing Ofcom.
“We take our responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise,” BT said in a statement in response to the suit. The telecoms provider said it has offered “discounted landline and broadband packages in what is a competitive market.”
Current British legal rules stipulate that it’s not possible to make compensation claims for alleged overcharging all the way back to 2009, so CALL is seeking damages from 2015. “This makes the claim, worth 589 million pounds, comprising 200-500 pounds for each of the 2.3 million affected customers.”
“We take our responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise,” BT said in a statement in response to the suit.