Virgin Media and EE have been fined by Ofcom for overcharging customers who chose to exit their broadband and phone contracts before the end date. Ofcom stated that 400,000 EE customers who cancelled agreements early were over-billed, and combined paid £4.3m more than they should have.
The regulator stated that 82,000 Virgin Media customers cancelling agreements early were overbilled to the tune of £2.8m.
Ofcom fined Virgin Media £7m, with an extra £25,000 fine for submitting incomplete information to Ofcom.
The regulator found that Virgin Media had levied early exit charges which were much higher than customers had agreed to. Virgin Media has decided to appeal the decision with the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
According to Ofcom, EE did not set out the charges for early contract exits for a period of six years and that up to 15m customers were overcharged due to a miscalculation.
Not all affected customers paid the charges as EE waived some of them. EE has refunded customers and the company has now changed the way it calculates early exit fees.
Everyone who was overcharged should be given a refund. Ofcom went on to say that the behaviour of both companies made customers less likely to switch provider, which is against its rules.