UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, Ofcom has fined mobile phone group Giffgaff £1.4m for “unacceptable” billing mistakes that saw 2.6 million customers overcharged.
Ofcom claimed that the company has overcharged people up to a total of almost £2.9m.
“Getting bills right is a basic duty for every phone company,” said Gaucho Rasmussen of Ofcom.
“But Giffgaff made unacceptable mistakes, leaving millions of customers out of pocket,” he added.
“This fine should serve as a warning to all communications providers: if they get bills wrong, we’ll step in to protect customers,” he further claimed.
The Chief Executive of Giffgaff, Ash Schofield stated he would “like to apologize” to affected customers and thanked them for their “ongoing support”.
“As a business, we have already begun – and will be fully – implementing the recommendations within Ofcom’s final decision,” he added.
The issue came forward after the customers who purchased a Giffgaff “goodybag” bundle – comprising voice and text minutes as well as data allowances – using their prepaid credit, were overcharged.
A delay occurred in Giffgaff applying the bundle purchase to customers’ accounts, said Ofcom. It further stated that the services should be free immediately from the point the bundle was purchased and customers had effectively been charged twice.
“Ofcom rules require telecoms providers to bill customers accurately for the services they use,” the regulator said.