TalkTalk and Tiscali overcharged "thousands", say Ofcom
Telecoms regulator Ofcom is threatening to open a can of extra-strength whupass on two service providers for demanding hundreds of customers pay non-existent bills.
Over 1,000 complaints have been recorded in the past year, from customers of both TalkTalk and Tiscali - the latter was bought by the former in June last year. According to TalkTalk, spurious bills were generated when the databases of both companies were merged together.
But while the company is adamant the situation has been resolved, Ofcom believes "many thousands" of consumers may have inadvertently coughed up cash for previously cancelled services.
In a rare showing of its normally gelatinous backbone, Ofcom is demanding TalkTalk undo all the damage done; any monies received by TalkTalk and Tiscali in error since the beginning of the year must be repaid in full, and the company must stop attempting to collect on these spurious bills. Furthermore, the regulator is insisting Talk Talk repairs any and all damage to individual credit ratings as a result of the issue.
The service provider has been given a deadline of 2 December to comply in full, or face a fine of up to 10 per cent of its annual turnover. Why is Ofcom choosing to bare its teeth to such an extent? A spokesperson told the BBC:
"It's been five months now since we drew TalkTalk's attention to this, it's been three months since we opened an investigation."
"There are still complaints about customers receiving bills for services that were not delivered and there are even complaints about customers who have been referred to debt collection agencies."
And while you're at it, Talk Talk, kindly stick that Neon Rainbow up your arse, too. Consider it an act of goodwill for unfairly hounding your customers.