|Investigation into||EE Limited|
|Case opened||12 June 2019|
|Case closed||12 March 2020|
The investigation considered whether EE complied with its charging obligations in relation to telephone calls to 118 numbers made by EE customers.
|Relevant legal provision(s)||
General Conditions B1.5, B1.19, B1.21(b) and B1.23
Ofcom has today published a non-confidential version of the confirmation decision issued to BT on 12 March 2020.
Following our investigation, Ofcom has today issued a Confirmation Decision to BT under s96C of the Communication Act 2003 (the ‘Act’) for contravening the rules set out under General Conditions (GC) B1.5, B1.19 and B1.21(b). BT did this by charging its EE mobile customers too much for calls to 118 numbers between 1 April 2019 and 26 June 2019.
Ofcom and BT entered into a settlement process and BT wrote to Ofcom on 10 March 2020, admitting its liability in relation to the nature, scope and duration of the contravention. BT has taken steps to remedy fully the consequences of the breach. In particular, BT has repaid in full those customers that paid too much for a call to a directory enquiry service and put in place steps to minimise the risk of similar issues occurring in future.
We consider that several factors made this a serious breach:
In light of the seriousness of this case, the Confirmation Decision imposes a financial penalty of £245,000 on BT. The penalty also includes a 30% discount from the penalty that Ofcom would otherwise have imposed. That discount reflects resource savings achieved by Ofcom as a result of BT’s admissions of liability and its agreement to enter into a settlement.
A non-confidential version of the Confirmation Decision is currently being prepared and will be published shortly.
On 1 April 2019, new rules came into force which set a price cap of £3.65 per 90 seconds (including VAT) on service charges for calls to Directory Enquiry services, which are provided on 118 numbers.
BT, the owner of EE, has provided Ofcom with information indicating that it did not apply this cap to calls made by a number of its EE customers to 118 numbers until mid-April 2019.
Ofcom takes compliance with its regulations very seriously. Having considered the information provided by BT, we have decided to open an investigation to examine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that EE has failed to comply with its obligations under General Conditions B1.5, B1.19, B1.21(b) and B1.23 from 1 April 2019.
Jessica Foster (Jessica.email@example.com)