BT set for windfall with 0800 charges
We've all been thinking it. We've all been worried about British Telecom not being wealthy enough. Well worry no more, because BT are going to get a "multimillion pound windfall" from mobile operators following a UK Supreme Court victory over phone call charges.
We can finally throw that nationwide street party in celebration of BT's coffers! The orphans will be delighted.
So what happened? Well, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of BT following a dispute between the phone co. and mobile operators regarding extra payments for calls to 0800 and 0845 numbers.
EE, Telefonica, Three and Vodafone made an appeal, where they were trying to block charges for these non-geographic numbers, saying that BT's wholesale costs (or "ladder costs" if you like) were "unreasonable."
The court dismissed them outright and furthermore, the companies would have to make back payments to BT dating back to 2009. In plain English, that's tens of millions of pounds straight into BT's pocket.
"Clause 12 of BT's Standard Interconnect Agreement confers a discretion on BT to unilaterally fix or vary its charges," the UK Supreme court said in its ruling.
BT said in a statement, "We will now start proceedings to recover the money that has been refunded to the mobile operators since the Court of Appeal ruling. We will also be pursuing claims for further termination charges subsequent to that ruling. Such pricing was designed to benefit UK consumers by incentivising the mobile operators to lower their retail prices."
Maybe they should invent some firms and send threatening letters to all the companies that owe them money?