Over one million BT customers owed cash after 'contract failure'

Over one million customers at BT are owed cash after contract failures. Over one million BT customers could be owed cash after the watchdog found they hadn't been provided with the right information when signing up for a contract.

The issue relates to BT subsidiaries EE and Plusnet, which made a combined 1.3million sales to around 1.1million customers. But this came without providing them with contract summary and information documents, a report has found.

Some customers were unaware they would have exit fees if they tried to leave the provider, regulator and watchdog Ofcom said. Ofcom has now fined BT £2.8million, which it said "reflects the seriousness of the breach" of its rules.

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Ofcom said in a damning statement after the release of the report: “Our rules are clear that if the required contract summary and contract information is not given, the contract is not binding on customers. As a result, an early exit fee should not have been payable by these customers. In some cases, BT deliberately chose not to comply with the rules on time.

“Other providers dedicated the resource required to meet the implementation deadline for these new rules, and BT is likely to have saved costs by not doing so.” A spokesperson for BT said in a statement today in the response to the watchdog report: "We’re sorry that some of our Pre-Contract information and Contract Summary documents were not available to some of our customers in a timely manner."

The telecoms giant went on, telling customers today: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused and have taken steps to proactively contact affected customers and arrange for them to receive the information and be refunded where applicable. We take compliance seriously at BT and we’re working closely with Ofcom to implement the remedial actions as a result of their findings."