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Plusnet, the Yorkshire-themed low-cost brand owned by BT, has become the latest telecoms company to feel the sting of regulator Ofcom’s pledge to crack down on bad behaviour in the sector.
Ofcom has fined Plusnet £880,000 after an investigation found that it had continued to charge customers that had left the company. Plusnet was found to have erroneously charged an aggregate £500,000 to 1,025 customers that had stopped using its broadband services.
The fine was reduced by 20 per cent after Plusnet entered into a voluntary settlement. The proceeds will be paid to the Treasury within 20 days. The internet company, which was acquired by BT last decade, has refunded 356 of the affected customers and donated the remainder of the sum it had over-charged to charity.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “There can be no margin for error, and no excuses, when it comes to billing customers correctly.”
Plusnet, a sub-brand of BT, is based in Sheffield and advertised its services as “good honest broadband from Yorkshire”.
Vodafone was fined £4.6m in October after struggling with a number of customer service issues while EE was hit with a £2.7m penalty in January for over-charging customers.