Customers are taking legal action against BT for alleged overcharging

The Canary

A law firm is launching action on behalf of BT customers claiming the company overcharged them for landlines.

Mishcon de Reya has filed claims at the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The firm says these claims could result in payments of up to £500 each for 2.3 million BT customers.

Compensation

The claim is being made on behalf of Justin Le Patourel, the Claimant Representative. Patourle is also founder of Call (Collective Action on Land Lines).

He said:

Ofcom made it very clear that BT had spent years overcharging landline customers but did not order it to repay the money it made from this.

We think millions of BT’s most loyal landline customers could be entitled to compensation of up to £500 each, and the filing of this claim starts that process.

Natasha Pearman of Mishcon de Reya said:

This is a specialist claim that will be heard before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

It will take time to gather evidence and bring it to trial, but we are very confident that eventually millions of BT’s most loyal customers – many of whom are older and potentially  vulnerable – will receive a significant rebate.

Redress

Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer group Which?, said:

Which? has campaigned long and hard for an effective collective redress scheme, but with no claim under the new regime reaching a full trial, consumers have not yet had the results they need.

If successful, this opt-out action would be welcomed by many BT customers who were found to have been historically overcharged for years, but saw no refund as a result.

Response from BT

BT said in a statement:

We strongly disagree with the claim being brought against us.

We take our responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.

For many years we’ve offered discounted landline and broadband packages in what is a competitive market, and take pride in our work with elderly and vulnerable groups, as well as our work on the customer fairness agenda.

We continue to offer a variety of packages to support our customers through the pandemic.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us