BT fined £2.8m after failing to provide contract details to customers

BT has been fined £2.8 million after EE and Plusnet failed to provide over a million customers with clear contract information before signing up to a new deal.

As a result, industry watchdog Ofcom believes the telecoms giant “deliberately” ignored new rules designed to protect customers.

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According to the industry watchdog, Since June 2022, BT’s EE and Plusnet businesses have made over 1.3 million sales without providing customers with contract details and documents, impacting at least 1.1 million customers.

This meant the telecoms giant broke consumer protection rules, which was formed in 2022 and designed to ensure customers receive clear, comparable information about the services they are considering purchasing.

Meanwhile, Ofcom engaged with providers during the period before the new rules came into force in June 2022, to ensure they were on track to meet the deadline.

Despite BT telling Ofcom that it was confident the deadline would be met Ofcom said: “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.”

Ofcom Entertainment Director, Ian Strawhorne, said: “For people to take advantage of the competitive telecoms market here in the UK, they must be able to shop around with confidence.

“When we strengthened our rules to make it easier for consumers to compare deals, we gave providers a strict timeline by which to implement them. It’s unacceptable that BT couldn’t get its act together in time, and the company must now pay a penalty for its failings.”

He added: “We won’t hesitate to step in on behalf of phone and broadband customers when our rules to protect them are broken.”

A BT spokesman continued: “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.

“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.”