Law firm taking action on behalf of BT customers

The company strongly disagrees with the action and will defend itself against claims.

The BT Tower in the Fitzrovia area of London (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The BT Tower in the Fitzrovia area of London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A law firm is launching action on behalf of BT customers claiming they were overcharged for landlines.

Mishcon de Reya has filed claims at the Competition Appeal Tribunal it says could result in payments of up to £500 each for 2.3 million BT customers.

BT said it “strongly disagreed” with the action, adding it had offered discounted landline and broadband packages for years.

The claim is being made on behalf of Justin Le Patourel, the Claimant Representative and founder of Call (Collective Action on Land Lines).

He said:  “Ofcom made it very clear that BT had spent years overcharging landline customers but did not order it to repay the money it made from this.

“We think millions of BT’s most loyal landline customers could be entitled to compensation of up to £500 each, and the filing of this claim starts that process”.

Natasha Pearman of Mishcon de Reya said: “This is a specialist claim that will be heard before the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

“It will take time to gather evidence and bring it to trial, but we are very confident that eventually millions of BT’s most loyal customers – many of whom are older and potentially  vulnerable – will receive a significant rebate.”

BT said in a statement: “We strongly disagree with the claim being brought against us.

“We take our responsibilities to older and more vulnerable customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.

“For many years we’ve offered discounted landline and broadband packages in what is a competitive market, and take pride in our work with elderly and vulnerable groups, as well as our work on the customer fairness agenda.

“We continue to offer a variety of packages to support our customers through the pandemic.”

Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer group Which?, said: “Which? has campaigned long and hard for an effective collective redress scheme, but with no claim under the new regime reaching a full trial, consumers have not yet had the results they need.

“If successful, this opt-out action would be welcomed by many BT customers who were found to have been historically overcharged for years, but saw no refund as a result.”

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