Ofcom has fined TalkTalk and its Tiscali UK subsidiary £3m for persistently billing tens of thousands of customers for services they did not receive.
The regulator first censured the companies for the incorrect charges in November, after which TalkTalk and Tiscali gave over 65,000 affected customers a total of £2.5m in refunds and goodwill payments. On Thursday, Ofcom levied an additional £3m fine, saying the telecoms firms continued to bill customers for non-existent services even after being told off for doing so.
“While TalkTalk and Tiscali UK did take some important steps to comply with the rules, such as making changes to their customer records management systems, they still incorrectly billed almost 3,000 consumers between 2 December, 2010 and 4 March, 2011,” Ofcom said in a statement.
The regulator said the size of the fine was “to reflect the seriousness of their breach of the rules and to act as a deterrent to them and other telecoms companies who must comply with the rules”.
However, Ofcom said the fine would have been even greater if TalkTalk and Tiscali UK had not taken steps to fix their systems and compensate customers.