Ofcom has fined both EE and Virgin Media £ 13.3 for overcharging customers that left their broadband and phone contract before the prescribed due date. According to the regulator around 400,000 customers of EE that ended their contracts early were billed extra for leaving the network and earned around £ 4.3 million from these charges. Ofcom stated that around 82000 customers of Virgin Media were overcharged by £ 2.8 million. Director of investigations and enforcement of Ofcom stated that both firms broke standard rules by overcharging customers that ended their contracts before due date and made millions of pounds in the bargain.
The regulator has levied a fine of £7 million on Virgin Media along with an additional levy of £ 25,000 for giving insufficient information during investigation. It also accused Virgin Media of levying early exit charges from customers that were higher than they had signed for which went on for almost a year. But Virgin Media has denied these allegations and said that it would appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the verdict. Its CEO Tom Mockridge stated that both fine amount and decision are unjustified and unreasonable as only a small amount of customers were charged wrong amounts for breaking their contract and the organization has already apologized to them.
Virgin Media accepted that its accounts people had wrongly charged 1.5 % above prescribed charges for 5.5 million customers for cable connections between 2016 and 2017 for which it had already reimbursed wherever possible and had made charity donations covering around 99.8 percent of the overcharged amount. EE apologized to its customers when Ofcom’s investigation revealed that it did not have fixed early-exit charges for nearly six years and overcharged nearly £13.5 million from around 15 million customers due to miscalculations. The regulator fixed a fine of £6.3 million on EE for the extra charges and not maintaining records of refunding them as it claimed during investigation.