Tuesday 30 July 2019 9:47 am

Giffgaff fined £1.4m by Ofcom for overcharging mobile customers

Mobile phone company Giffgaff was fined £1.4m by watchdog Ofcom today for overcharging customers.

An Ofcom investigation found that an error in Giffgaff’s billing system led to around 2.6m customers being overcharged a total of almost £2.9m.

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Giffgaff is owned by Telefonica UK which trades as mobile network O2. Giffgaff uses O2’s network to provide service to its customers.

Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s director of investigations and enforcement, said: “Getting bills right is a basic duty for every phone company. But Giffgaff made unacceptable mistakes, leaving millions of customers out of pocket.

“This fine should serve as a warning to all communications providers: if they get bills wrong, we’ll step in to protect customers.”

Giffgaff has already refunded around £2.1m to affected customers. 

It has also made a donation to charity in lieu of those customers it has not been able to trace and refund. 

Ofcom’s fine includes a 30 per cent reduction as Giffgaff agreed to settle the case and admitted wrongdoing.

Giffgaff reported the issue to Ofcom when it realised its mistake and took steps to fix the problem and refund customers.

During the investigation, Giffgaff failed failed to provide accurate information in response to two statutory information requests issued by Ofcom. 

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Giffgaff has been fined an additional £50,000 for these breaches.

In a post on Giffgaff’s customer forum, chief executive Ash Schofield said: “On behalf of everyone at Giffgaff, I’d like to apologise again to all those members affected by this and thank you for your ongoing support.”

Picture credit: Getty