Post Office fined £175,000 for overcharging disabled customers
Ofcom has today confirmed that we are imposing a £175,000 fine on Post Office after it breached one of the rules that set out how communications providers must treat their customers.
This particular rule gives disabled people the right to access comparable phone call services as non-disabled people.
Between August 2013 and November 2018, Post Office broke this rule by failing to put in place a special price scheme for calls made by disabled customers who needed to use relay services, meaning they were overcharged unfairly.
Relay services help people with hearing and speech difficulties to communicate over the phone, by offering text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation services. A special price scheme compensates them for the additional time it takes for them to make phone calls using a relay service.
Several factors made this a serious breach, including the potential vulnerability of the people who were affected and the length of time for which the rules were broken.
So, we’re imposing a fine of £175,000 on Post Office and requiring them to refund customers who were affected. The fine includes a 30% discount because Post Office admitted liability and agreement to a settlement. We have also set out steps that Post Office must complete to comply with the rules and make sure no future similar breaches occur.
The money raised from this fine will be passed on to HM Treasury.
A full version of our decision will be published shortly.