A tribunal has approved a bid to launch a £600 million class action compensation claim against the UK’s biggest telecoms provider on behalf of over two million customers that it allegedly overcharged
More than two million BT customers could be owed £500 each as part of a historical overpayments breach that is now going to court.
Today, the Competition Appeal Tribunal approved a bid to launch a £600million class action compensation claim against BT on behalf of over two million current and former customers.
It’s being brought forward by telecoms consultant Justin Le Patourel who claims BT’s landline-only customers are owed hundreds of pounds, many of whom are older and from low-income households.
In 2017, Ofcom investigated BT and discovered that it had overcharged its landline customers between 2015 and 2018.
The firm cut the cost of its line rental from £18.99 to £11.99 a month in 2018 as a result.
Alamy Stock Photo)
Earlier this year, Justin Le Patourel, founder of the Collective Action on Land Lines (CALL) took this issue to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to obtain payouts for these customers.
He said many are vulnerable and are rightly owed refunds for the overpayments.
Today, the court gave the case the green light for a class action – this is essentially a group legal case brought forward on behalf of the public.
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The following customers are affected:
– “Voice Only Customers”, who had a BT landline service between October 2015 and April 2018, but did not also receive a broadband service (from BT or any other provider).
– “Split Purchase Customers”, who had a BT landline service alongside a broadband service (from BT or another provider) at any time since October 2015, but who did not ‘bundle’ these services together into a single, discounted package.
In the next step, the case will proceed to full trial.
If successful, around 2.31million BT customers could get payouts estimated at £500 each.
Le Patourel said: “We think that these customers could be entitled to a substantial repayment of up to £500 each.
“This decision is a great step in the right direction and we look forward to the full trial, where we will continue fighting for BTs loyal and mistreated customers.”
The hearing will be held on October 19.
If you are a BT customer you do not need to do anything at this stage to be part of the claim.
A BT spokesperson said: “We strongly disagree with the speculative claim being brought against us and will consider all available options as we review the preliminary ruling on the procedural matter of certification.
“We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.
“We assure our customers that we will not let this claim disrupt the relationship BT has with them. We will continue to support our customers through the pandemic and beyond.”