TalkTalk fined £3m by Ofcom

TalkTalk fined £3million for wrongly billing “tens of thousands” of customers.

TalkTalk continued to wrongly bill customers after an Ofcom investigation and has now been slapped with a £3million fine.

The telecoms regulator began investigating TalkTalk - and Tiscali, which it also owns - following complaints from 1,000 customers in July last year.

It found that "tens of thousands" of customers had been wrongly billed - with 62,000 being charged even after they had closed their accounts.

Ofcom set TalkTalk and Tiscali a deadline of 2 December 2010 to "to take steps to sort out their billing problems".

However, some 3,000 customers were still wrongly billed between 2 December and 4 March 2011, resulting in today's fine. It is designed "to reflect the seriousness of their breach of the rules and to act as a deterrent to them and other telecoms companies who must comply with the rules," said Ofcom.

Ofcom has the power to fine companies up to 10% of their "relevant turnover", but chose a lower penalty because TalkTalk and Tiscali had taken steps to remedy the situation.

Dido Harding, chief executive of the TalkTalk Group, said: "The billing migration was completed last year and in the last three months Ofcom has received only 12 complaints on the issue.

"In addition, as announced in February, every customer impacted has been reimbursed and compensated with payments totalling over £2.5 million."

Rather than providing relief for TalkTalk customers though, the £3million fine will be paid to HM Treasury.

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